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confusion over “cloth face coverings” versus effective N95s continues

In March of 2020, public health told us that wearing medical grade face masks did not work when used by the general public.

Then on Apr 6, 2020, they told us to wear “cloth face coverings”.

The studies pre-Covid and post-Covid said that N95 masks work well, certified surgical masks work less well, and there is no real world evidence to support “facial coverings” made of random bits of cloth.

But here we are in July 2021 and they still tell us to use “cloth face coverings”.

After we had 94% “face covering” compliance, daily cases increased by 10x more. And this perhaps because of the use of “cloth face coverings” rather than actual respirator masks.

  • In January, 2021 the CDC said we should wear two – and some said three – “face coverings”.
  • The White House, Bavaria, Austria, and the NBA *banned* the use of cloth face masks and mandated N95s or FP2s *only*.

But, here we are on July 18, 2021:

What kinds of masks are acceptable?

Face coverings come in many kinds, including homemade cloth face coverings, plastic face shields, surgical masks and N95 respirators.

OHA recommends wearing a face covering or mask instead of a face shield, except in limited situations when a face shield by itself is appropriate, like talking to someone who is deaf or hard of hearing and needs to read lips to communicate.

We encourage Oregonians to continue conserving medical-grade masks for the medical professionals who need them most. Cloth face coverings are effective for most non-medical uses, and they’re reusable and washable.

Source: Oregon Mask Requirements

Instead of recommending masks that might work, they continue to recommend “cloth face coverings”, which have not stopped the spread of Covid-19. Further they specifically tell us NOT TO USE “medical-grade masks” of any type.

When someone tells you that “masks are proven to work”, ask them to define “mask”: Do they mean N95s or random bits of “cloth facial coverings”?

A few public health “experts” have begun to notice that “mask” should mean an effective mask, not a random bit of cloth:

With the pandemic over, what’s next?

It is too early to tell where the epicurve goes next. If it follows the pattern in some other countries (such as the UK), the “daily positive test cases” will rise over the summer (so much for the popular meme on social media that Covid-19 is seasonal).

You can easily see a pattern in the trend – the same kind of pattern that exists in epicurves for past disease outbreaks decades ago – the cycles repeat with a pattern. At the beginning of the pandemic each cycle rises steeply.

In the later phases, the cycles rise more slowly and do not go as high.

This is not a sophisticated analysis – this is just pointing out the obvious.’

Continue reading With the pandemic over, what’s next?

Ending my own data analysis

As of this weekend, the Oregon Health Authority will no longer provide Covid test and body count data on the weekend.

Since the end of March 2020 (initially OHA claimed they could not publicly disclose data), I have made daily updates and at the peak, produced up to over 40 charts analyzing various aspects of the state’s pandemic situation.

In the fall I discovered the state was calculating the percent positive value incorrectly. When cases were low, no one noticed the error. When daily news cases increased by a factor of 10 the error became obvious. While I did not contact OHA, a TV station did contact them and they identified the error. Overnight, OHA went from blaming the public for not following guidance to thanking us for following guidance.

In December I noticed a discrepancy in how the state reported deaths. By mid to late January, it looked like January deaths would exceed December deaths. This occurred because OHA’s body count was based on “day it was reported” but not the “actual day someone died”. Because reports were delayed by a random amount, this time shifted all death counts into the future. As OHA was reporting increasing deaths in January, actual death counts were going down. I did inform them – but did not receive an acknowledgement. However, about 2 weeks later, they began publishing a chart showing corrected “Deaths by actual date” rather than by “day of report”.

Continue reading Ending my own data analysis

Another sign the pandemic is over

I had to page about 70% of the way down the web page before seeing a Covid-19 related news story – and that article was about disgraced UK Health Minister Matt Hancock, who resigned after violating Covid-19 restrictions.

The heat wave here in the PNW is the segue to the next scary fear porn topic – climate change. A while back a CNN insider said this is what CNN planned to do as the pandemic wound down – move on to scary headlines about climate change.

Looks like we are there and the pandemic, at least in the U.S. and Europe, is over.

If only we tested everyone, every few days …

I wrote about this issue a year ago. When the prevalence of a disease in the population is less than the false positive rate of the test, when you do mass testing, then the majority of your “positive results” will be false positives.

Simple Bayesian statistics.

Vaccines and NI complicate this too – immunity means you have a fast immune response. You may have the disease, barely, momentarily, but your body is beating it down really fast. That’s how this works.

But remember, I am a brain injured idiot with no relevant experience. I make observations and ask stupid questions. Clearly, I have no idea what I am talking about here.

Not one super spreader

As I have written about before – not one of the predicted super spreaders caused an “super” outbreak. Not one. You can add the Sturgis Motorcycle rally too, several sports events and more.

This is why disease models are worthless, as are the celebrity public health experts that promoted this fear porn:

Oh, and I missed this report about the non-existent spreader events.

Similarly, the “holiday surge” never happened either. Many states peaked months earlier. California peaked the day before Christmas. In my state, R-0 was starting to fall in mid-November and deaths peaked the week of Dec 6th. The “holiday surge” meme was a lie, often created by lazy epidemiologists who kinda sorta spotted maybe a little bit, perhaps, of a correlation, at times, as long as they ignored all the stuff that didn’t correlate, basically.

Do most people pay for their own pre-travel Covid-19 testing?

I was looking in to some travel options for the Fall of 2021. But with the continued public health confusion on restrictions and requirements, I have now canceled all of those plans and postponed into mid-2022.

For example, traveling to Hawaii requires a pre-travel negative Covid-19 test, even if fully vaccinated.

There are only two vendors in the area that are authorized by Hawaii to do the tests. I’d have to drive about 20 miles to another town, spend $120 to purchase each Covid test kit, return home, and then schedule an online video appointment where I would be observed sampling my nose. Afterwards, I would then have to drive to a UPS facility to send the sample for PCR testing, and wait for the results. All this has to be done 72 hours before travel.

Alternatively, there are a few options to do the tests at airports – which appear to cost about $220 per person – and which may result in quarantining at the destination (at additional costs) until the test results are available.

Do some people get these tests for free? I looked online and see that Kaiser Health Plan members can get all Covid tests, including travel tests, for free.

Is this how it is for most people?

Only some of us are screwed? I don’t know – this is all a mystery to me and would like to hear from others as to how they are handling this.

For an American to travel to the UK, you need to have a pre-flight test, a second test upon arrival, and a third test 5-7 days after arriving. You then need a 4th test before arriving back to the U.S. Even if fully vaccinated[1] The costs of this seem to be on the order of $500 to $900 per person – which is quite prohibitive.

But may be most people get these for free? Anyone?

UPDATE: I contacted my insurer and I am positively stunned – they cover pre-travel required Covid-19 tests at 100%, no deductible, as long as I use a preferred provider.

[1] Once again, the public health “experts” are making it abundantly clear they do not believe vaccines work, at all.

Hawaii’s bizarre vaccine policies

Persons who have received a Covid-19 vaccination IN Hawaii, may fly to Hawaii with no quarantine or negative Covid-19 test required.

Persons who received their Covid-19 vaccination OUTSIDE Hawaii, must have a pre-flight negative Covid-19 test or quarantine upon arrival.

  • Why does a vaccine given in Hawaii behave differently than one given elsewhere?
  • Why does Hawaii believe vaccines given elsewhere in the U.S. do not work?
  • Is there anyone in public health – who, by their rules and actions – believes vaccines work?

Public health keeps doing this – get vaccinated – but we don’t really believe they work. Vaccinated persons will need to be Covid-tested, wear face masks and social distance forever.

This continues their campaign of inconsistent, contradictory, illogical, and incoherent messaging. Public health has defined itself as incompetent.

Update: Hawaii has now announced it will accept vaccination records from the mainland U.S. now.

But meanwhile, Hawaii says restrictions will remain until 70% of the population is vaccinated (not 70% of adults as is done in the other 49 states). This means 85% of Hawaii’s adults will need to be vaccinated, which is hoped can be completed by sometime in September.

Question: If there is “science” behind anything here, why are there such large differences in metrics?

WHO says vaccines DO NOT WORK: “WHO urges fully vaccinated people to continue to wear masks as variant spreads”

World Health Organization joins the anti-vaccine crowd, saying that vaccines do not work:

“People cannot feel safe just because they had the two doses. They still need to protect themselves,” WHO official Dr. Mariangela Simao told reporters.

Source: Delta: WHO urges fully vaccinated people to continue to wear masks as variant spreads

Straight from WHO “experts” – Shroedinger’s Vaccine argument – it both works and does not work simultaneously.

Public health messaging remains in disarray, an absolute disaster, and is indicative of the incompetence that pervades the field.