Update: On December 15th, the Oregon Health Authority reported 54 deaths (all of these deaths took place across about six weeks prior to today’s report). Of these, 42 of those who died had a positive test for Covid-19 on or before the Thanksgiving weekend. There was a surge underway in November, well in advance of Thanksgiving. As of this week, the 7-day moving average of new cases and hospital census is trending down. It is too early to know if this has peaked. And it will take another 2 weeks to see if there was a post Thanksgiving surge, but at this point, it seems probably not. The point is – the recent spike in deaths (so far) was emphatically not due to Thanksgiving activities (by flight or local vehicle travel).
As noted in my other post, there were +3.4% more travelers during Thanksgiving week than during the prior week, inline with the normal weekly variation amid a six month rising trend.
Last week and up through today, there have been numerous news reports implying a huge surge in holiday travel. The surge did not happen. Fauci tells us there will be “surge upon a surge” of new cases through the end of the year holidays. (May be – but track records for predicting future aspects of the pandemic have been abysmal. Time will tell us what happens.)
Passenger count data shows that last week’s news reports were not true. Aa few media outlets are begrudgingly back tracking but in an off handed way. They now acknowledge that traffic was 60% below last year – but – wait for it – air traffic reached a post-pandemic high amid the holiday surge! Scary!
Except its a normal week over week climb out of the air traffic hole formed in March.
- Since the bottom in air traffic was reached in the spring, 57% of all days have represented a higher value than the day before, typical of a rising trend.
- On a week over week basis, most weekly passenger counts were greater than the week before over the past six months.
Headlines proclaiming a new post-pandemic passenger level are solely intended to be inflammatory and to scare you. This is level 1 bull shit reporting by the media. As previously noted, 91% of all news stories about the pandemic have a negative spin and even when new cases are decreasing there are 5.5 times more stories about increasing case counts.
This chart includes Thanksgiving week, Sunday through Saturday passenger counts as provided by the TSA.
As you can see, both public health and the media greatly exaggerated about last week.
And we wonder why no one believes public health or the media?
Updated December 15th chart: