“The new cases have fallen since that point [March 10] and they’ve really been pretty stable over the last week or two,” said Chris Van Deusen, director of media relations for Texas Department of Health and Human Services. “It looked for a little bit like they were starting to tick up, but this week it’s been down a little bit, so time will tell. It seems like the vaccination effort is really taking effect and helping us keep those cases low.
“Van Deusen made it clear that Abbott, and many Texas residents, have not totally stopped wearing masks and many businesses still have mask requirements in place.
“I think the governor was pretty clear in his announcement that he still wanted people to wear masks, that he’d still be wearing a mask, but it was certainly up to people to take that personal responsibility and take that personal action to continue to take precautions,” said Van Deusen. “It wasn’t something that the state was going to require them to do. I think by and large that’s still happening. I don’t think we’ve stopped wearing masks altogether.”
When “experts” are asked to explain why outcomes are similar between states that have few restrictions and those that have heavy handedmandates, they fall back to the “people voluntarily complied argument”.
Which, if true, means mandates were never necessary. But that never occurs to them.
In reality, all public health guidance largely depends on voluntary compliance. In these situations, you practice “Sell, don’t tell”. But that’s not was done.
Public health arguments are always bizarre: When case counts go down, its because people are complying (compliance being a term from prisons). When case counts go up, its because people are not complying. It is a flimsy argument, near circular in form, and based on assumptions, not data.
When mandates are dropped and cases go down, its now claimed that people are voluntarily complying.
When cases rise in multiple states, simultaneously, we say its because everyone in all those states stopped complying simultaneously. Of course. When cases drop in multiple states, simultaneously, we say its because everyone simultaneously began complying. These are not argument, however, based on facts and logic. They are Kahneman’s System 1 “intuitive thinking” approach to persuasion. If you apply System 2 and give some rational thought to the situation, you realize what they’ve said doesn’t make sense.