The South Is Hot

In terms of Covid-19 challenges. From Goldman Sachs today:

Source: Blake Taylor, “State-Level Coronavirus Tracker: June 24,” Goldman Sachs, June 24, 2020.

To be precise, I guess it’s the South plus Arizona.

Update, 4:21 Pacific. Map based on table above.

 

Update, 6/25, 1PM Pacific: Bruce Hall comments:

We certainly should expect deaths to increase if the rate of infection is actually higher and not an artifact of more extensive testing which may only be exposing cases that previously would not have been detected (asymptomatic). If the latter is the case, then the fatality rate for Covid-19 is lower than previously calculated.

If your contention is correct, we should already be seeing increasing deaths since most state opened for business the first week of June.

Here is the relevant graph as of today:

 

67 thoughts on “The South Is Hot

  1. baffling

    the south has been led by a bunch of republican governors who are spineless in the face of trump. not a single one of them has shown any true leadership. i cannot blame all republican governors. ohio had respectable leadership at the outset of the pandemic-but he is not in the south. i honestly thought that texas would lead as abbott would be considered a vulnerable citizen, but apparently he governs one way but lives a different life in private. kind of like private bone spurs, who minimizes the virus threat but will not let anybody near him who has not been tested within the past hour. hypocritical leadership.

    Reply
  2. baffling

    hey dick stryker, did your economic models of the pandemic predict the current exponential phase the south is now entering? or did your “advanced” models miss that one?

    Reply
    1. pgl

      Trump’s rally in Arizona attracted a huge crowd where 97% of them were not wearing masks. So yea – very stupid. But hey it was a group of Trump supporters!

      Reply
  3. Willie

    Washington is looking bad again. The areas that are getting hit hard now are hard right leaning areas east of the mountains. California’s problems are in LA for now as best I can tell. The virus does not respect ideology.

    Reply
  4. Wally

    Fortunately they have had months to prepare. I mean, they did take it seriously when Cuomo said ‘This will be you some day”… right?

    Reply
  5. Ottnott

    The indoor-mingling season is the winter up north and the summer in southern regions. I’ve wondered if that has been one of the factors in the timing of outbreaks.

    Reply
  6. Ooe

    it seems the GOP is the pro-death party. i know what the passengers in the Titanic felt in 1912.
    As Peter Thiel said, “the Trump Administration would end in calamity,”
    More infected more dead, more unemployed

    Reply
    1. Willie

      Well, if you are looking at this mess from the Kremlin or from Beijing, it’s probably pretty entertaining. Moscow Mitch should be proud. His enabling has make sure that the reign of utter incompetence continues to the weakening and ultimate harm to the United States. He and his tribalism will be judged harshly by history. His enabling has allowed the American Caligula to cling to power and create circumstances that will lead to the great dimishment of the United States. No doubt, he doesn’t much care so long as he can keep slamming wingnut judges into office.

      Reply
  7. Bruce Hall

    https://cafehayek.com/2020/06/cases-are-not-deaths.html

    There would seem to be several possible scenarios associated with cases increasing:
    1. the reporting methodology/prevalence of testing for identifying cases has not changed and the virus is spreading rapidly
    2. the reporting methodology/prevalence of testing for identifying cases has changed and the virus is spreading rapidly
    3. the reporting methodology/prevalence of testing for identifying cases has changed and the virus is spreading at a rate consistent with earlier detection
    4. the reporting methodology/prevalence of testing for identifying cases has changed and the virus is spreading at a lower rate, but better detection makes the rate appear to be greater

    If, as Dr. Don Boudreaux’s article points out, the actual number of deaths is decreasing, which of the four alternatives would be consistent with that?

    Of course, there may be other factors involved.
    1. Better course of treatment for those infected (but no vaccine or cure)
    2. Those most vulnerable are taking appropriate precautions while those less likely to die are taking less precautions and are the individuals becoming infected
    3. The virus is mutating and is less lethal because less lethal strains allow the infected to spread the infection to more people than those who die from a more lethal strain

    Reply
    1. Dr. Dysmalist

      I suspect that WaPo started reporting cases because deaths lag cases by 2-3 weeks (or more); therefore they are a lagging indicator of the spread of the virus. Diagnosed cases themselves lag actual infections by a couple of weeks or so.

      Furthermore, the ratio of positive tests to total tests is increasing in those states that rushed to ‘open up’ before the data suggested they should. That means that what we are seeing is not an artifact of increased testing but an actual increase in the spread of the virus and of the disease. Look at all of the data before you try to rationalize events in Der (wannabe) Fuhrer’s favor.

      Besides, aren’t you the one who complained about this site being driven by politics, not data? And yet you’re also the one who belligerently and repeatedly brings in this ideologically-driven, intellectually-challenged bullcrap. The next time you want to start blame-throwing, face a mirror while you do it.

      Reply
      1. pgl

        You actually expect Bruce Hall to understand the data and then be honest with us about it? You do not know Bruce Hall very well.

        Reply
      2. Bruce Hall

        Thanks for you interest in data. I’m still waiting for pgl’s.

        We certainly should expect deaths to increase if the rate of infection is actually higher and not an artifact of more extensive testing which may only be exposing cases that previously would not have been detected (asymptomatic). If the latter is the case, then the fatality rate for Covid-19 is lower than previously calculated.

        If your contention is correct, we should already be seeing increasing deaths since most state opened for business the first week of June.

        I’m disappointed that you should feel my post was political in nature. Data should be apolitical. If you’d care to explain how the four scenarios and the three points of other possible factors are political in nature, I’d be most interested in your explanation.

        Reply
          1. pgl

            Something tells me Bruce was aware of this data even as he wrote “If your contention is correct, we should already be seeing increasing deaths since most state opened for business the first week of June.”

            Everyone else was. But to expect Bruce Hall to present facts contrary to what Trump wants us to hear is to expect too much.

          2. Bruce Hall

            Menzie thanks for the link.

            Here’s an interesting development: https://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/cdc-says-covid-19-cases-u-s-may-be-10-n1232134

            If that is correct, the actual mortality rate from this virus is much less than presently calculated. It also means that there are many more people who could be spreading this less-lethal-than-reported disease. I guess that’s good news, bad news.

            Also Thursday, the CDC expanded its list of who is at greatest risk for COVID-19 complications, removing the age cutoff of 65.

            “There’s not an exact cutoff of age at which people should or should not be concerned,” Dr. Jay Butler, head of the COVID-19 response at the CDC, said. Rather, a person’s risk increases with age, but that doesn’t preclude younger adults from complications.

            Indeed, people of any age with certain underlying health conditions have a higher risk, though the likelihood of having these conditions increases with age. At risk are those with heart disease, chronic kidney disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, obesity, type 2 diabetes, sickle cell disease and anyone with a compromised immune system.

            In other words, while the likelihood of being infected now appears to be ten times as great as previously reported, the death rate is, perhaps, ten times lower and more concentrated on the sickly (120,000/23,000,000).

            So, what do we do with that information? Keep everyone somewhat isolated? Have a one-size-fits-all strategy for dealing with the virus? Keep the state economies hobbled? Find someone to blame (that’s rhetorical; the answer is obviously “yes”)?

          3. 2slugbaits

            Bruce Hall So, what do we do with that information? Keep everyone somewhat isolated? Have a one-size-fits-all strategy for dealing with the virus? Keep the state economies hobbled?

            For starters, how about these actions:

            (1) Require everyone to wear a mask when out in public unless there is some special medical reason why a person shouldn’t wear a mask.

            (2) Prohibit seating at restaurants & bars; suspend attendance of professional sporting events, concerts, museums, etc.; and hotels. This would go a long way towards holding down the spread of the virus. Would it be costless? No, but it would not be a crippling cost. Cutting final demand from those sectors by a whopping 80% would only reduce GDP by 4.9%. That’s an acceptable and manageable cost given what we would end up paying if we try to tough it out and keep those sectors open. Just write checks to keep those workers and businesses afloat until we get a vaccine and we can accelerate the reopening of the economy.

            (3) Backstop the state and local governments so they can provide critical support like EMS and hospital services.

            (4) Make all testing free of charge.

            (5) Engage actual economists and infectious disease experts to guide the opening of the economy rather than political hacks and campaign contributors. In my state the governor appointed a group to guide the economic recovery. All fourteen members were large campaign contributors and business people without any expertise in either infectious disease or economics. That’s just a recipe for special pleading and political favoritism.

        1. 2slugbaits

          Bruce Hall If the latter is the case, then the fatality rate for Covid-19 is lower than previously calculated.

          Huh? That doesn’t follow at all. What we have are fatality rates (plural), not a fatality rate (singular). The fatality rate for a twentysomething, while not zero, is much lower than the fatality rate for an eightysomething. It’s entirely possible that infections could be increasing even while deaths from COVID fall. That does not mean the underlying mortality rate for each age group is lower than previously calculated; it just means that infections are coming from a different age group. The young & irresponsible are doing what the young & irresponsible always do; viz., behaving irresponsibly. Sort of like Trump supporters who attend MAGA rallies at packed indoor megachurches and not wearing masks.

          Reply
          1. pgl

            “What we have are fatality rates (plural), not a fatality rate (singular). The fatality rate for a twentysomething, while not zero, is much lower than the fatality rate for an eightysomething. It’s entirely possible that infections could be increasing even while deaths from COVID fall. That does not mean the underlying mortality rate for each age group is lower than previously calculated; it just means that infections are coming from a different age group.”

            This is a good point but it is also a rather obvious point. Now I would chalk this up to Brucie boy being stupid except we have already covered this material so many times before than even a retarded dog would see through Brucie’s flawed “reasoning”. Of course Brucie boy has never had any interest in an honest discussion. He twists every thing deliberately to paint Trump’s rosy but highly irresponsible intellectual garbage. No – no one is this stupid unless they are being paid to be stupid.

        2. pgl

          “Thanks for you interest in data. I’m still waiting for pgl’s.”

          Like you have any interest in presenting reliable data. Look little lying dude – I have in the past demonstrated how you misrepresent facts over and over. OK – I have decided to outsource this to others who are doing an excellent job. Life is too short to rebut your incessant lies.

          “I’m disappointed that you should feel my post was political in nature. Data should be apolitical.”

          It should be apolitical. But for you to suggest your intent was not brazen politicalization of the facts is transparently a lie.

          Reply
    2. baffling

      for the ignorant among us, like bruce hall, i can clear this up rather easily. the increase in cases is not due to increased testing. it is an actual increase in cases. how do we know this? because in the past two weeks hospitals have steadily increased their admissions. this is not a result of increased testing, but a result of increased spread. a slight lag to hospital bed fill has been icu bed fill. this has also increased, and in some places reached capacity. icu beds do not fill as a result of increased testing. they fill as a result of increased spread. there will be a slight lag from icu fillup to increased death, because it takes some time for the patient to deteriorate from regular hospital bed, to icu, to death. over the next couple of weeks you will see the deaths begin to increase. they will be exacerbated by the overfilled icu wards, which will result in additional deaths than otherwise should have occurred. all because southern governors reopened too soon and without proper safeguards in place. it was avoidable. bruce, if your comment was indicative of the quality of the “analysis” you conducted during your working career, it is good you are no longer employed.

      Reply
    3. 2slugbaits

      Bruce Hall CafeHayek? Really? Not much better than zerohedge.com or Fox & Friends. And I’m sorry, but the term “Austrian economist” is an oxymoron.

      Look, the hospitalization rate is also increasing, so it’s highly unlikely that higher testing rates explains very much of the observed increase. And people don’t just get tested for the hell of it. They don’t just decide they’re bored and don’t have anything better to do than wait in a four hour line to get tested. One of the big reasons we’re seeing more testing is because more and more people are suspecting that they have COVID-19. We also see increases in the positive test rate. States in the South are seeing positive rates over 10%. That’s not the signature of higher observed infection rates simply due to increased testing. Increased testing rates only explains a very small part of the overall increase.

      There are two reasons why you’re seeing a decline in death rates. The first reason is that there is a significant time lag between when someone is infected and when they die. You don’t just get infected and die three hours later. It’s usually a long and painful experience. Deaths lag infections. If you could be bothered to understand the coupled differential equations in even the most basic SIR model this would be obvious. The second reason you’re seeing lower mortality rates is that most of the new infections are with younger and healthier people. They’re parents and grandparents will die later.

      the virus is spreading at a lower rate,

      You can check this by looking at trends in Rt. For example:
      https://rt.live/
      If Rt is > 1.00, then the virus is spreading. If Rt is < 1.00, then the virus is dying out. Check the history of Rt by state. The graphs show when each state implemented shelter-in-place orders and when those orders were lifted. You don't have to squint to see the obvious effects of policy choices.

      1. Better course of treatment for those infected (but no vaccine or cure)

      There is only one effective therapeutic…and it’s not hydroxychloroquine. There is no evidence that Remdesivir lowers mortality, but it does reduce the hospital time. You’d be on safer ground if you said that shelter-in-place policies lowered the burdens on hospitals, and that’s what allowed for better treatment. But remove those policies and hospital burdens will increase and mortality will increase.

      The virus is mutating and is less lethal

      The virus is mutating, but there’s no evidence that it is more or less lethal; however, there is significant evidence that it’s more infectious. That could also be another reason why we’re seeing spikes in infection rates.

      Reply
      1. pgl

        “You can check this by looking at trends in Rt. For example:
        https://rt.live/
        If Rt is > 1.00, then the virus is spreading. If Rt is < 1.00, then the virus is dying out. Check the history of Rt by state."

        Very useful. I checked on my state – New York. We dropped below 1 a while ago. And our death rates have declined considerably. Since we were the epicenter and represent a large state, this is the reason aggregate death rates have declined. All the evidence for the other states have the real health care professionals worried we will see a lot more deaths. But of course some right wing Cafe Hayek refuses to admit this. And Bruce Hall thinks this Austrian "economist" is a medical expert? Yes – Brucie is this damn stupid!

        Reply
        1. 2slugbaits

          pgl An interesting feature of the rt.live site is that it shows what the Rt values looked like in the past. If you look at where we were two months ago you’ll see that there were only five states above 1.00. We were making progress. And then about two weeks ago all hell started breaking loose.

          Reply
        2. Bruce Hall

          Thanks, good data. I find it interesting that Michigan’s transmission rate has increased given the extended shutdown. There hasn’t been much mentioned about that in the news. In fact, Michigan has been highlighted as an example of the efficacy of extended shutdowns.

          It will be interesting to see if the contention that deaths will begin to spike is accurate. I suspect they won’t by much if any because the people who have been most active mixing socially and at work are those who fall into the demographic range of those less likely to die. It would be nice to have the new cases split out by age groupings as well as severity of symptoms. If you have that analysis, I’d like to look at it.

          You can track the death count changes here: https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/vsrr/covid19/index.htm

          The information can be downloaded in CVS for Excel format and, if you have Numbers on your Macbook, you can open the files nicely formatted. I also have been following and downloading the weeking updates here: https://data.cdc.gov/NCHS/Provisional-COVID-19-Death-Counts-by-Sex-Age-and-S/9bhg-hcku. Since the data are cumulative, you have to do some subtracting to see the weekly changes.

          Most of the deaths continue to be in the older segments of the population. Texas, which is supposed to be a hotspot state has shown almost no deaths for people under 35. Those over 65 are the majority of deaths. I don’t have statistics on nursing home deaths, but I suspect that patients there are a significant part of the total deaths for people 85-years and older. Given the strict isolation protocols for most nursing homes at present, one would expect those numbers to decrease weekly rather than continue to increase.

          Reply
          1. baffling

            houston icu units are full. even if they were not to die, don’t you think that is a problem for society? it is costly in terms of medical care today, and longer term care from the damage caused by the virus. now you are going to be dealing with a 35 year old with a lifetime of respiratory issues. i know you are a decrepit old man without much concern for those long term costs, but somebody must pay for it.
            by the way bruce, have you yet taken a risk and exposed yourself to the virus during reopening? or are you still holed up while inciting others to go out and risk their lives?

          2. pgl

            I did a quick check of Michigan data as I know Bruce Hall was lie about what it says. He always does. One chart showed testing which basically sucks. So yea maybe cases are going up of late. But if you go back to when the Governor decided to shut it down, the number of cases was very high and then dropped. Of course we know some of the MAGA hat wearers in Michigan have ignored all social distances so the picture is not perfect.

            But my link provided lots of data. And we all know Bruce will cherry pick and misrepresent. It is what he does. So check out the data for yourselves.

          3. Bruce Hall

            Thanks, baffling. Always amusing.

            Yes, I’m decrepit, soon to be 76; however, I did go golfing three times this week and shopping at Costco. At 6′, 185 lbs with a 34″ waist and very good BP and on no medications, I just use what I believe to be good sense. I don’t go bar-hopping or join massive, yelling crowds to take unnecessary risks. Do you? I did get some spider bites while weeding the perennial garden, but they don’t appear to be terminal. I watch my 3-year old granddaughter several times a week to give her parents a break.

            My sons range in age from 37 to 43-years old, so naturally I’m always concerned about their well-being, not just because of Covid-19. But as college graduates with advanced degrees, I believe they are intelligent … and wise … enough to also take care of themselves and their families. They are also in good health so I see their overall risk as low.

            Are other people higher risk? Sure. Should I be concerned about them? Only insofar as they act stupidly and exposed themselves to the virus unnecessarily. Of course, on a macro basis I have concern for people who unnecessarily risk becoming infected with Covid-19 might do to our society and economy. But am I concerned for them individually? Of course not. At least not for people who are making a choice to ignore information available to them on how to best protect themselves. I do feel sorry for those who cannot make their own decisions: younger children and infirm elderly. But they face other health risks, too. This is one of humans’ imperfections; they don’t have perfect immune systems.

            As an aside, my 11-year old grandson became quite sick and lethargic recently. Stayed several days in the hospital where Covid-19 tests were administered as well as scans looking for anomalies. Nothing specific was found. No active viruses were found; no antibodies to the Covid-19 virus were found. At the end of everything, the doctors told his parents that it seemed to fit Covid-19 symptoms so even if the tests were all negative they were going to report it as a “probable” Covid-19 case. I’m not sure why they would do that.

            So, baffling, take care of yourself. Use good sense (I won’t refer to it as “common” sense for as Voltaire noted, it’s not all that common). Lose those extra pounds, exercise, take your vitamins D3 and K2 plus magnesium and zinc. Decrease drinking all that alcohol and eating all of that sugar and starches. You may still have a chance.

          4. 2slugbaits

            Bruce Hall Michigan’s Rt exceeded 1.00 on 27 May. That was right after the Memorial Day weekend when the governor started to lift restrictions.

            Your comment to Boudreaux was disingenuous…and I’m being charitable. I don’t know of anyone who is cheering for more COVID-19. Like you, I’m in the vulnerable age group. And I have several close family members who have endured it. Most people don’t experience severe symptoms, but the 20% who do suffer severe symptoms find it much worse than anything they have ever endured before.

            There was a brief period in early April when Trump started to show some real leadership. And he was rewarded with improving poll numbers. But that period only lasted about a week and then Trump reverted to form. A symptom of his notoriously short attention span? I don’t know, but each week since then he’s gotten worse and worse.

            Simple question. Except for medical reasons, do you think governments should impose mandatory facemask laws for anyone who goes out in public places?

          5. 2slugbaits

            Bruce Hall Are other people higher risk? Sure. Should I be concerned about them? Only insofar as they act stupidly and exposed themselves to the virus unnecessarily. Of course, on a macro basis I have concern for people who unnecessarily risk becoming infected with Covid-19 might do to our society and economy. But am I concerned for them individually? Of course not. At least not for people who are making a choice to ignore information available to them on how to best protect themselves.

            This is a perfect example of how you continue to completely misunderstand the problem. In your view it’s only about personal responsibility. You’re living under the belief that you can control your risk. That’s wrong. People can act very responsibly and do everything right, but still get infected. Like you, I don’t especially care what happens to people who behave recklessly. The problem is that their reckless behavior cannot be confined to just themselves. The reason people should socially distance isn’t just to protect themselves, it’s mainly to protect everyone else with whom they interact. The reason you should wear a mask isn’t just to protect you, but to protect others. The view that you’ve expressed is only a short step away from the “personal choice” argument that I hear from a lot of people who dismiss the risks. And quite frankly, it’s a view I hear from a lot of people wearing MAGA hats and no masks. No one has a “personal choice” when the consequences of that choice endanger other people. Your understanding of “personal responsibility” appears to be all about behaving in such a way that you only look out for your own interests. So “personal responsibility” means doing things that minimize your risk of catching COVID-19. I see that as an impoverished notion of “personal responsibility.” It’s what “personal responsibility” might mean to a teenager. It’s better than nothing, but not good enough. A better understanding of “personal responsibility” is a willingness to act in ways that are socially responsible. You shouldn’t just act responsibly only because it will benefit you. Equally important is the motivation that responsible behavior will benefit others. I don’t wear a mask because it will protect me (it probably won’t). I wear a mask because it protects people I come in contact with.

            BTW, vitamin D supplements are not very effective at keeping your immune system robust. You really need the sun for that. The main reason for taking vitamin D supplements is to assist calcium absorption. And too much K2 can lead to blood clots.

          6. pgl

            “Most of the deaths continue to be in the older segments of the population.”

            Well yea but you also took some statistics that the percent of 20 somethings dying from this virus relative to the number of the same group catching the virus to suggest that even old people have less risk from dying if they catch it. You were called on this as if you were stupid. No – it is stupidity that drives your incessant drivel. You know you are lying to us but since we wear a MAGA hat in your little basement bunker you think it is AOK.

        1. pgl

          Whoopie – I can’t wait for his reply. Given the original blog post and some of those stupid comments, this should be a real hoot!

          Reply
        2. pgl

          Dan Tige! I read that comment. I would call it very childish but I don’t want to insult children. Yep – you basically lied about what we are saying here. Nothing new for you. You also showed you are a complete low life. Again – nothing new here. And BTW – I shared the comment below for every else to see how incredibly disgusting you really are.

          Reply
      2. pgl

        Checking the resume of “Dr.” Donald Joseph Boudreaux. Bruce Hall pretended this fellow has some expertise in medical issues but there is zero indication he has any experience in such matter. Yea he got a Ph.D. in economics from Auburn. Who even knew Auburn had a Ph.D. program in economics.

        Dr. Don’s dissertation? “Contracting, Organization, and Monetary Instability: Studies in the Theory of the Firm.” This topic is interesting but has nothing to do with medicine or health economics. Then again Dr. Don thinks we should allow insider trading. Go figure!

        Look – anytime Bruce Hall touts some right wing clown as an expert – always check the resume. We know Bruce Hall does not!

        Reply
    4. macroduck

      Once again, Bruce leads me to suspect that he is a paid troll. That is the simplese explanation for his regular use of biased outside sources of analysis, all of which attempt to downplay the seriousness of the Covid pandemic.

      Once again, the analysis Bruce presents does not fit the facts. ICUs in southern cities are being overrun with new Covid cases. Listing scenarios explaining reports of rising Covid infections which do not take into account increased hospitalizations is disingenuous.

      Similarly, listing explanations for a lower death rate which ignore the widely recognized role of elderly deaths in nursing homes in boosting Covid-related deaths earlier this year leaves out an important fact which is widely recognized as a factor in lowering the rate of Covid deaths more recently.

      Those of you who are not regular visitor here, please understand that Bruce may be paid to post comments here that are intended to mislead you.

      Reply
      1. pgl

        Good comment but on the lead:

        “Once again, Bruce leads me to suspect that he is a paid troll.”

        I wonder why anyone would pay this fool anything. Even if he is getting $1 a comment, he is being overpaid.

        Reply
    5. pgl

      Dr. Don? Earth to Brucie -Boudreaux is not a medical doctor. He only plays an economist on the TV. Deaths are down because NYC did the right thing a while ago and it is working – contrary to the serial BS you kept putting up here. Cases are rising and this is not dismissed as better testing. Every honest knowledgable person notes that. But not your right wing Dr. Don. If cases are rising now – deaths will be rising later. Oh yea people might start taking that snake oil you were selling but guess what Brucie – it does not work. Everyone with a brain and some integrity would tell you that.

      BTW – this was the last comment over at Dr. Don’s place that I saw:

      ‘Let’s hope there are more cases. The virus is now endemic. The only hope we have is herd immunity and the opportunity for the virus to mutate to a less virulent form. The only way to accomplish both of those things is to let it replicate through the population.’

      Did you write this garbage? It sounds like the crap you routinely spew.

      Reply
      1. baffling

        “The only hope we have is herd immunity and the opportunity for the virus to mutate to a less virulent form.”
        the thing fools like bruce fail to understand is if the virus mutates, you probably also lose immunity. because, ……..wait for it……… it has become a NEW virus. idiots.
        not to mention the recent study indicating that people are losing significant immune system response within a few months of infection. this poses problems for both vaccines and herd immunity. as a comparable, there is no vaccine against colds caused by coronavirus either.

        Reply
      2. Bruce Hall

        pgl, no I wouldn’t write a comment like that. Sorry if that disappoints you, but I’m not cheering on more cases because I think Covid-19 is like many other coronaviruses for which there are no guaranteed vaccines or cures. We’ll have to live or die with it, much like pneumonia (for which there is a vaccine) or influenza (for which there are many vaccines). Someday, there may be a vaccine for protection from Covid-19, but I’m guessing that it will be like pneumonia and influenza vaccines: effective for some, not so effective for others. I’ll admit that I had hoped the Chinese and French studies on HCQ would lead to an effective treatment and perhaps some researchers may actually stumble across such a treatment. Remdesivir was given the same excited reception, but it has its limitations.

        What is happening is that people are looking around them and not seeing what the headlines are blaring. They may read about 100K deaths, but many simply do the math: “300+ million people; 100K deaths… yeah, it’s there, but I’m not too worried.” Yes, they may be aware of someone who was/is infected by Covid-19 an perhaps even heard of someone (who was not in a nursing home) who died from that. But they also see that for the vast majority of people it’s like the bogeyman: scary, but not too real to them. So they are going back to work. They are mixing socially. They are shopping and eating out. They have come to accept what they perceive to be the level of risk to them personally. Sure, some never perceive any risk to themselves, but you could tie them to a tree with a plastic bubble around them and they would escape so that they could party and such.

        On the other hand, a lot of people in Michigan noticed the picture of Gov. Whitmer front and center in a protest march which I’m pretty sure doesn’t align with her message and orders of social distancing. That has also sent an unintended message to the residents of her state: it’s party time!

        Reply
        1. 2slugbaits

          Bruce Hall What is happening is that people are looking around them and not seeing what the headlines are blaring. They may read about 100K deaths, but many simply do the math: “300+ million people; 100K deaths… yeah, it’s there, but I’m not too worried.”

          You’re probably right about that. I strongly suspect that’s exactly what a lot of people are thinking. Well…”thinking” isn’t really quite the right word. More like feeling. But this simply highlights something that economists have known for years, which is that people are extremely bad at understanding risk. Really bad. The problem is that people don’t “simply do the math”, but instead do “simple math” that’s not right. Instead of actually doing the real math, they just rely upon intuition and immediate personal experience.

          Reply
        2. pgl

          “no I wouldn’t write a comment like that. ”

          First you take credit for commenting over there and now you deny doing so? No wonder you adore Trump.

          Reply
    6. Willie

      Bruce Hall:

      1. Check with hospitals in Houston and report back.

      2. Have you applied for that job in a meat packing plant yet?

      Reply
  8. macroduck

    There are a handful of factors which may boost the Covid death rate in southern states.

    Obesity and diabetes both increase the risk of death from Covid infection by 5 of 6 times over the average rate. Southern states have among the highest rates of both obesity and diabetes.

    There is a large dust cloud headed for the southern states: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/saharan-dust-plume-gorilla-dust-cloud-drifting-united-states/

    Dust particles are a hazard to respiratory health and are likely to compound the damage from Covid infection.

    Add those factors to what looks like a growing shortage of ICU beds, and the Covid death rate in the south could be quite high.

    Reply
    1. pgl

      You alas may be right here. But shhhh – don’t tell Bruce Hall. He – like Trump – thinks this will all go magically away.

      Reply
  9. Dr. Dysmalist

    Thanks to all of you who mentioned the increased hospitalizations and ICU admissions – I was a little ticked and forgot to include those facts.

    We also need to be skeptical about the deaths attributed to Covid-19 because some governors in MAGA-America are falsifying the numbers already. I agree that it’s likely to get worse from here.

    Reply
    1. baffling

      new jersey just added over one thousand additional deaths due to covid, upon further review of death records.

      Reply
  10. pgl

    “some governors in MAGA-America are falsifying the numbers already.”

    Trump likely endorses this even if he has attacked China for allegedly doing the same thing. And Bruce Hall of all people writes data should be apolitical. I’ll be laughing at that one for days!

    Reply
  11. pgl

    Bruce Hall told us he commented over at Café Hayek. It seems he goes by a different name over there – Dan Tige:

    “You may find the comments here interesting. Apparently, the people who comment on Econbrowser have nothing but disdain for you. There seems to be a lot of cheering for Covid-19 to become a more serious problem than it is already.”

    I know – this comment is disgustingly dishonest and beyond being juvenile. But what else should be expect from Bruce Hall aka Dan Tige?

    Reply
    1. baffling

      bruce hall certainly has a misunderstanding. the folks at econobrowser simply want people to recognize how dangerous the virus truly is. unlike bunker boy trump, who seems to think it has simply, miraculously, gone away.

      Reply
      1. Willie

        bunker boy is protecting his own snowflake self from harm. He just doesn’t care whether the idiots who support him live or die. So long as they live long enough to give him what he wants. Only a complete fool would do what bunker boy says. Watch what bunker boy does to protect himself.

        Reply
  12. joseph

    Trump today in Wisconsin: “If we didn’t test, we wouldn’t have cases. But we have cases because we test.”

    Today I ripped the gas gauge out of my car and look forward to never having to buy gasoline again.

    Reply
  13. Ottnott

    At some point, the media will clue into the fact that a focus on the death count was obscuring the accumulating numbers of people who have cleared the virus from their bodies, but have lasting physical damage.

    Reply
    1. Willie

      There is reasonable cause for that. The death count is tangible now. The lasting damage isn’t yet. The scary thing is that we do not know what kinds of chronic damage this disease may cause. It could permanently lower kidney function in a manner that will lead to other issues in the future. We are only a little over six months beyond the first infections and about four months into a global pandemic. We do not know much yet beyond the immediate body count.

      Reply
  14. baffling

    bruce, i am glad you are still isolating yourself and minimizing risk while goading others to take on that risk. exactly as i described you. selfish. on the other hand, it is quite surprising that somebody else exists and had the poor judgement to procreate with you multiple times. seems to signify such a person has poor judgement, unless you were a better person in your younger days. at any rate, be watchful this fall when the grandkids return to school.
    since you seem to like data (although apparently have a difficult time understanding it), here is a nice consolidated link for you
    https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/data#charts
    notice how those southern republican states are growing exponential in cases since reopening? this is what happens when one ignores the science and health experts, and instead relies on “miracles” as a policy plan.

    Reply
  15. joseph

    Just an update on Kopits “Definitive Statement” on the death rate in the U.S. vs Italy.

    Today the U.S. passed the two-thirds threshold of deaths per capita compared to Italy, that is, just 33% below Italy. Kopits projected no worse than 29% below Italy. Currently the U.S. is running 20 times as many deaths per day, and ramping up, with only 5 times the population.

    Kopits optimistic projection isn’t holding up very well. The U.S. is looking to burst through Kopits worst case well before the end of July. It’s hard to believe that Kopits actually has clients who pay him for his terrible prognostications.

    Not to worry, though. According to Kopits these are not real excess deaths, merely slightly premature deaths.

    Reply
    1. Moses Herzog

      @ Joseph
      I lost track of even what the hell Kopits had said. Oh man, that’s funny. Please update us later when it finally passes Italy. 5-star comment by you.

      Reply
  16. 2slugbaits

    Vice-President Pence was asked why Team Trump has been and will be holding political rallies when those rallies clearly conflict with Pence’s own task force recommendations to wear masks and socially distance. Pence’s answer was about as lame as it gets. After staring at his shoes for a few seconds Pence mouthed some hogwash about First Amendment rights, blah-blah-blah. The question was not whether or not Team Trump had the constitutional right to do something stupid; the question asked why they were doing something stupid that completely contradicted Pence’s own task force guidance. Pence is about as gutless a politician as you’re likely to find. He pretends to be morally upright but he’s probably the most morally compromised individual in the Administration outside of Trump himself. And dumb as a box of rocks. An empty suit pulled right out of central casting.

    Prediction: If Trump loses in November, I expect that he will resign before January 20th in exchange for Pence granting him a full pardon. And Pence will accept the deal.

    Reply
    1. pgl

      “Pence’s answer was about as lame as it gets. After staring at his shoes for a few seconds Pence mouthed some hogwash about First Amendment rights, blah-blah-blah.”

      I watched that lived and almost choked.

      This is Pence’s standard MO on everything. But at least he speaks loudly and clearly which for people wearing MAGA hats means he is telling the truth.

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.