Comment Of The Day: “These Are The “Experts” Your Present And Future Masters Rely Upon”


For your Wuhan virus pleasure today, here is Glenn Logan’s Comment of the Day on the post, “These Are The ‘Experts’ Your Present And Future Masters Rely Upon”:

Jack said: “I’m not going to wear a mask inside my home, nor in my car, nor outside while playing with my dog, and I’m going to regard anyone who follows this edict with a “please” attached as an enemy of my future liberty as an American.

As a person who has taken college classes in both epidemiology and virology as part of my course of study, I can tell you that yours is a sane response. I don’t style myself any kind of an expert, but I do know plenty about both subjects. The SARS-CoV-2 virus appears to require a minimum viral load to produce symptomatic disease, and that load is nearly impossible to achieve outside without being in crowded close quarters due to natural air currents.This is one likely explanation why there are so many asymptomatic infections. Viruses producing the common cold display this same characteristic, and coronavidae is one of the cold-producing families of virus. As far as wearing a mask in a car, this is unnecessary unless you have high-risk potentially exposed people other than you moving in and out of it all the time, and don’t follow basic sanitation rules. Even then, the risk of dangerous viral concentrations in a single-person car are very small.

Wearing a mask in a home is medically defensible if you have more than one person in it and at least one is exposed to high-risk situations — close quarters indoors with poor air movement where proximity to others is problematic. Otherwise, it is just a very low shared-risk situation.All this assumes that masks are at least marginally effective. Obviously, that is currently very much in question. In any case, if an individual can no longer make a personal choice involving his own safety, we have truly placed safety above freedom, and Ben Franklin’s famous quote “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety” would seem to apply. Eugene Volokh, placing that in context, gives us this:

“So to sum up: All the logical work (if not all the rhetorical work) in “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety” is being done by the decision about what aspects of liberty are essential, and how much safety is at stake. The slogan might work as a reminder not to make foolish tradeoffs, but the real difficulty is in deciding which tradeoffs are wise and which are foolish. Once we figure that out, we don’t need the slogan to remind us; before we figure it out, the slogan doesn’t really help us.”

I deem this wise. Consider your tradeoff carefully — Is it all about “virtue signaling,” or is it more fundamental, personal, and essential? For the most part, we have to make that decision. No President or government can make it for us unless we allow them to.

And in that vein, also ask: What is government’s objective with any mask mandate? Is it to actually reduce infections, or to assert control over the masses? Informing this question is the apparent position of our betters that people are too stupid, pigheaded, careless, or their judgment too suspect to police their own hygiene practices and therefor must be ordered to do things on pain of punishment. Even embracing the healing power of “and” on the above, are we okay with allowing government to use it’s authority in this way?

Finally, I am constrained to point out that if we are to ever place this health problem in the rear-view mirror, we must all a) be infected or b) be vaccinated. There is simply no other solution. It’s true that heard immunity will occur at lower percentages of population infection/vaccination and control the spread, but anyone who has neither a) nor b) will be vulnerable to this disease until they have one or the other.

17 thoughts on “Comment Of The Day: “These Are The “Experts” Your Present And Future Masters Rely Upon”

  1. In concluding your last paragraph, the whole “flatten the curve” objective was never “avoid the disease”, it was spread out exposure of the population over time so the serious cases could be handled as the entire population either gained immunity or herd immunity kicked in.

    About summer time when the nascent tyrants realized their ruse about “a few weeks to flatten the curve” was a colossal lie they gradually converted the narrative to “we can avoid the disease altogether, just gotta follow our dictates a little longer”.

    • What are we talking about here ? Slow Joe’s “wear a mask for a hundred days” nonsense ? What does Slow Joe mean by that ? Wear a mask in your home and everywhere you go for a hundred days ? Really ? Fuck that. Surely he can’t be serious. Wear a mask outside while walking the dog or working in the yard ? Fuck that too. If this is what he actually means he and his henchpeople have to be smacked down hard. There’s no basis in reason or fact for any of this.

    • In general, I’m willing to cop to the idea that “flattening the curve” was the initial objective. I also think that when the governors saw that people would listen to their orders, they decided that they were therefore in the business of looking out for everybody and developed a kind of God complex — they became more than willing to substitute what they considered to be their informed judgment for what is normally entrusted to individual Americans in the interest of “saving lives.”

      This has a strong political component, but it also is hard to resist on a personal level. When one convinces oneself that their actions are “saving lives,” it becomes very easy to justify ever more intrusion into daily life. After all, is not “saving lives” the highest calling? (No, I don’t actually believe that, but you get my point).

      What we are seeing is humans convincing themselves that their decisions are rescuing lesser persons from death, and it’s therefore their duty to act accordingly. Imagine if you were in that position, and that was the feedback you got? Many of us might be inclined to react much the same way.

  2. Active Covid19 Cases Victoria, Previous Mondays (announced Tuesday mornings):

    10 Aug: 6951
    17 Aug: 5283
    24 Aug: 3535
    31 Aug: 2326
    7 Sep: 1566
    14 Sep: 931
    21 Sep: 577
    28 Sep: 264
    5 Oct: 154
    12 Oct: 135
    19 Oct: 76
    26 Oct: 38
    2 Nov: 15
    9 Nov: 4
    16 Nov: 3
    23 Nov: 0

    It can be done. Victoria has a population of 6.5 million, 5 million of which are in one city.

    In both area and population, it’s comparable to Minnesota. (Currently around 45,000 cases, but in August, less than 5,000).

    Now…having said that… the virus will continually be introduced. There will always be sources of infection incoming from overseas, be it in cargo ships, returning residents, diplomats, aircrew..

    If those incoming cases can be quarantined, and the inevitable quarantine failures swiftly detected, isolated and contained, then it looks likely that only a few measures are needed to keep the lid on.

    Fortunately the death rate is low. Very fortunately the reinfection rate is low.

    Unfortunately many apparently get permament, life changing injury to heart, lungs and other organs, they never fully recover.

    Very unfortunately indeed, we now have suggestions that the majority of cases, especially those who are asymptomatic, develop recurrent auto immune conditions months later. We may very well be wrong here, but if we aren’t, obtaining herd immunity by universal infection is a very bad idea.

    Some vaccines may have the same issue, but this is unlikely.

    In summary, there are many uncertainties, and an uncomfortably high chance that there may be dire consequences to those apparently unaffected.

    Or not. We don’t know. Some asymptomstic cases are ending up with generalised recurrent inflamation of heart and brain months after recovery, that we do know.

    • Zoebrain said:

      Very unfortunately indeed, we now have suggestions that the majority of cases, especially those who are asymptomatic, develop recurrent auto immune conditions months later. We may very well be wrong here, but if we aren’t, obtaining herd immunity by universal infection is a very bad idea.

      My personal, non-medical opinion on this point is as follows:

      I consider this highly unlikely and I am totally skeptical of such an assertion as likely hyperbole. Viruses generally have lasting effects like this on a tiny, virtually insignificant portion of human populations, especially viruses that do not target the immune system, central nervous system or lie dormant in human hosts for years or decades. What is being attributed to SARS-CoV-2 infection in these cases are more likely the expression of underlying conditions, genetic predispositions, or even symbiotic effects with other, normally benign viral or even bacterial agents. Correlation, as we all know, does not equate to causation.

      Viruses, as I’ve said before, are little more than biochemical machines with one function — replication. Weaknesses in human immune systems caused by obsessive cleanliness, genetic and other factors not directly related to the activity of SARS-CoV-2 virus can appear to be caused by the virus, but are in fact more accurately described as undiagnosed underlying conditions.

      That doesn’t mean that SARS-CoV-2 cannot have a dormant factor or other side effect we don’t know about — viruses often do. But in the fever of a pandemic, it’s often easy to “find” things about new viruses that aren’t actually true, and anything that makes SARS-CoV-2 look more scary is likely to be pushed to the fore for reasons I’m sure I don’t need to explain in this forum.

      Finally, we will achieve heard immunity by both routes, bad idea or not. Many will refuse to be vaccinated on religious, political, or pure pigheaded grounds. Many will be infected before the vaccine priority makes it down to them. The vast majority of this cohort will be infected and almost all of them will recover normally without lasting effects. If there is, in fact, some unknown side-effect that produces chronic conditions, the affected population is likely to be very small.

      • Glenn. I’ve always thought the cases reported by the media of dire knock on effects of the virus were fearmongering. The fact these stories are reported seems to me to indicate they are radical outliers. The “long haulers.” Give me a break.

        I’m glad your comment was reposted. I had a reaction to your very thoroughly documented analysis of masks and distancing and what could happen. I’m sure it’s all scientifically based, but my response boiled down to: “Glenn. What are the ODDS [of this scenario eventuating]?” Something can be clinically proven to happen, but how often is it going to happen and are we over-reacting by even taking this into account? Is it statistically significant? This is what seems to be missing from so much of what “experts” are saying. Seventy-three hundred people die each day in the United States. What are we doing about that?

        I just wish there were a little more humility among the “experts.” An occasional “Who the fuck knows?” rather than another “SCIENCE!” would be nice from time to time.

        Anyway, as always, nice job.

        • Thanks, OB.

          As to the odds of certain events happening, it’s always difficult to say. Biological systems are incredibly complex and can be affected by a bunch of variables that we humans just don’t have the ability to take into account with current models and systems. So I’m afraid a straight answer to your perfectly reasonable questions is outside my capability.

          I think that every adult should realize that the SARS-CoV-2 virus is likely airborne and is pretty much likely to be encountered at some level almost everywhere large numbers of people go, particularly buildings in the wintertime where the system is mostly closed to external atmosphere.

          Whether it is in sufficient concentration or present in a manner to cause an infection in a given person at any particular point in time is impossible to calculate or even estimate. Therefore, it is not unreasonable to err on the side of caution, always keeping in mind that we cannot rationally, or practically, withdraw from life, and that the mitigation measures we have in place may not actually be effective in mitigating the chance of infectious exposure.

          So with that in mind, comport your behavior as you see fit — you are an adult, of age and able to make informed judgments. If it falls within the government’s recommendations, that’s fine. If not, that’s also fine — it’s your life, and we all have an individual responsibility to ourselves and our families, and a much less important or immediate responsibility to society. My feeling is that if you are conscientious about you and your family, it is enough for the rest of us.

          • While not in agreement with the last paragraph, and for evidence why not I refer you to the US pandemic stats…

            Worthy of a comment of the day.

            Now, why I may be biased regarding the last paragraph. We went through a bushfire catastrophe this time last year. We had to work together, not just as individuals or even families, but neighbourhoods, communities.

            By helping put out the fire three doors down, I help safeguard my own home. By watching for emberfall in my suburb, and helping extinguish spotfires wherever they may be, I place less stress on limited firefighting resources, resources that can then be allocated to higher priority areas.

            Bummer if my own property burns down so thirty others are saved, but them’s the breaks. Things are too dire not to play percentages.

            “We must all hang together, or, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately.”

            The US is hanging separately.

  3. Jack, this has been bothering me for a while, so I might as well ask it here:
    Why do you consistently refer to SARS-CoV-2 (aka, CoVid-19) as the Wuhan virus? You’re too intelligent to avoid the medical terminology unless you have a really good reason, although I can’t think of any. (And you know that I know that Wuhan was the beginning of the outbreak. I’m not entirely dim.) It just makes you sound petty. So, please, enlighten me.

    • I’ve explained this many times, but mostly in comments.

      The news media called the virus the Wuhan Virus from the very start, and then the decision was made to cal that designation “racist” because the President was using it. The vast, vast majority of such pandemics have been named after the locations from where they appeared to arise.

      From a From a PR release from two members of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, Gail Heriot and Peter N. Kirsanow that I quoted in this post,; the two members, conservatives, were dissenting from the official left-wing talking point then in the ascendance:

      The Commission makes the ill-advised suggestion that referring to COVID-19 with terms like “Chinese coronavirus” is somehow fueling “[t]his latest wave of xenophobic animosity toward Asian Americans.” It is common to refer to infectious diseases by their geographic origin. Examples include Asian flu, Bolivian hemorrhagic fever, Brazilian hemorrhagic fever, Ebola, German measles, Japanese encephalitis, Lyme disease, Marburg virus, Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), Pontiac fever, Rift Valley fever, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Spanish flu, Venezuelan hemorrhagic fever, and West Nile virus…It is counter-productive to hector the American people (or its leaders) about describing the COVID-19 as “Chinese” or as having originated in China. It did originate there. Ordinary Americans—of all races and ethnicities—who harbor no ill will toward anyone don’t like to have the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights imply that that they are fueling the flames of xenophobic animosity. We can’t blame them. It is insulting.

      Our colleagues on the Commission close their statement by writing under the current circumstances no American should be “ostracized solely because of their race or national origin.” That is certainly sensible enough. We would add that Americans should not be ostracized on account of false accusations that their conduct has been racist, xenophobic and hateful. The promiscuous use of those terms needs to stop.

      To which I added, and would say EXACTLY the same thing today:

      “That’s fine and well stated. My position is even more basic. I refuse to participate in mind-control based on the assertion that a factual statement is “racist,” or that someone is the cause of unethical conduct because others choose to behave unethically. Any more Alyssa Milano comments or complaints about Kung Flu jokes, and I’ll be calling the damn thing the Wuhan Virus from the Capital of the Hubai Province in That Big Asian Nation Called China That Endangered The Entire World By The Dishonest, Paranoid Manner In Which It Withheld Crucial Information.”

      That latter would be completely accurate, as we know know better than ever. China is to blame, and China-tied interests are despicably determined to all ow that slave-mongering, human rights denying, Machiavellian nation duck responsibility. In many cases, the location-based name of pandemics and virusese has been inaccurate, as with the Spanish Flu. Not this time, baby. This was China’s doing, and China deserves the infamy forever. The arguments for not using Wuhan are lame and partisan, and are more of the linguistic game-playing we have seen in other contexts, notably with “Black Lives Matter.” The news media, which has been disgusting all year, is also the piper playing the Covid tune, and as Jack Ryan says at the end of Patriot Games. “I’m sorry, but I don’t dance.’

      And “everybody does it” is no excuse to let China (As a Chinese dissident famously said this year, “Don’t trust China, China is asshole”) off the hook.

      Go ahead, explain why wouldn’t we call the virus what it is except to kowtow to a vicious, anti-American dictatorship.

      I am adamant on this issue.

      Besides, “Wuhan” is alliterative in the song.

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