Category Archives: COVID-19

Oh Deer

© 2010 James Marvin Phelps.
Licensed via CC BY-NC 2.0

Deer get COVID — and in Michigan at least, lots of deer have been exposed to COVID.

Does this mean deer are the new bats? Is this a reservoir of illness that can be transmitted to humans? Another incubator for variants? Is Bambi going to be a horror story?

It seems no one knows…

Posted in COVID-19 | 1 Comment

Pros and Cons of Mandatory COVID Vaccination Rules

America’s Finest News Source investigates and offers this list:


  • Fake vaccination cards very lucrative business opportunity
  • Good way to keep HR department busy for a few months
  • Would saves millions of innocent profits
  • Always fun to piss off Eric Clapton
  • Surely there’s at least some benefit in taking rudimentary public health measures


  • Cruise ships more exciting when there a public health threat on board
  • Could cripple America’s burgeoning ventilator industry
  • Just came up with new argument about how this is related to Holocaust
  • Waste of perfectly good needles intended for intravenous opiate use
  • Violates deeply held American values of recklessly endangering others

I suppose we could add some items, but it’s a start.

Needle photo © and licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License Creative Commons License .

Posted in Completely Different, COVID-19 | 29 Comments

Is There a Powerful COVID Infection Rate Predictor?

Interesting Twitter thread about the following question: If you plot the US state-by-state  COVID infection rates since Sept 1, 2020–i.e. the recent and now receding surge–which is a better predictor:

  1. The percent of the population infected before Sept 1, or
  2. The margin of Biden’s victory in the state?

You might expect that states which had lots of COVID before Sept. 1 would have more of it after Sept. 1 for the same reasons they were getting it earlier. Or, I suppose, you might expect the reverse: states learn from their mistakes, and if infection rates were higher earlier then more people have immunity, so there’s a negative relationship between earlier infection rates and later infection rates.

According to Youyang Gu, both of those expectations are broadly wrong:COVID before/after Sept 1 2020

Instead, the single variable with the most predictive power is how strongly states voted for Biden.
COVID Infection vs Biden Vote

As commenters in the thread note, at an R-squared of about 0.5, this is not a fully explanatory variable–there’s a lot going on, no doubt. Youyang Gu’s suggestive claim is only that as single-variable explanations go, this is the most powerful.

Posted in 2020 Election, COVID-19 | Leave a comment

More Evidence that the State of Florida Just Isn’t Into this COVID-Control Stuff (Updated)

The Florida Bulldog reports,

Florida is dismissing a recent warning from federal regulators about the accuracy of a popular COVID-19 test from one of the state’s largest testing providers — and continuing to use the test in a way the FDA has advised against.

Meanwhile, the state’s most populous county, Miami-Dade, is reconsidering how it uses the test.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a warning last month alerting the public to “the risk of false results, particularly false negative results,” with the test made by an enormous San Dimas, CA-based testing start-up, Curative, noting that false negatives can mean people unknowingly spreading the virus to others. The risk of false negatives is higher, the FDA noted, when the test isn’t used correctly.

Lots more at Florida defies FDA warning on controversial COVID test with off-label use, but Miami-Dade reconsiders.

Update: a friend writes to suggest the Curative test is really OK and doesn’t deserve the bastinado.

Posted in COVID-19 | 1 Comment

Nothing to See Here, Right?

That’s the New York times weekly chart with data as of Nov. 23.  I guess we’ll get a bigger one in a couple of days.  Some scientists — elitist alarmists in the grip of community delusion, no doubt — are predicting things will get worse before they get better.

Looks fairly dramatic to me, but of course I’m not a scientist.

The increase in cases has not been matched, yet, by as great an increase in deaths, although that number is also rising quickly.

I suspect this is because deaths lag cases by several weeks, and because treatment has improved. In addition, perhaps, a smaller fraction of the new cases are in the most vulnerable (e.g. elderly) population compared to the earlier peaks. But if the lag claim is correct, then expect the weekly deaths number to go up for some time before it goes down.


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The World Turned Upside Down

Germans — notorious for being hardworking — are told to adopt the ‘stay lazy at home’ mentality to defeat COVID.  Here’s another COVID public service ad running in Germany:

How come we don’t have ads like this here?

PS. Currently the German death rate from COVID is about one fifth (20%) of ours, on a per capita basis.  (Per Wikipedia COVID-19 Pandemic Death Rates by Country)

Posted in COVID-19 | 1 Comment