By Kevin Roche
A few observations, not much ranting, so rated CV-OE (okay for everyone). First, I am going to give you a little information about the blog and its reception. This was a sleepy little health research, policy and business blog with maybe a few hundred readers. In my own way, I became alarmed at the government reactions to the epidemic and started writing about CV-19. The blog has since been read by over 300,000 people and has a subscribed readership of over 30,000. So you are not alone. I think, based on reader emails and comments, that people appreciate getting access to the science and data, as well as some of the commentary. I have been approached about monetizing the blog and that will never happen–no ads, no nothing. What you see now is what you will keep getting. I hope you all will keep passing the blog on to others, that is how it grew. If you tweet, please link to it, or mention it on Facebook and LinkedIn posts, let the media know. The more people we arm with the facts, the more likely policy becomes rational again. And once again, I express my deepest gratitude to all of you for reading. It heartens me that so many people believe in policy based on real data and real science, not some politically ginned up BS.
On the other hand, I was filled with despair when I read several stories in the last day. The UK is telling unrelated people they can’t sleep in the same household. California issues incredibly detailed rules about how people can celebrate the coming holidays. Have we all lost our minds, are we living in communist China or Soviet Russia or Nazi Germany? When did we all agree that one person, usually a complete moron who lies and misleads people for a living, that is, a politician, can have that kind of power? This has to end and at least in the US, we have to pass laws that forbid it from ever happening again. We are supposed to be a democracy, let’s act like it.
And the most disheartening item was a column in the WSJ, of all places, yesterday in which the author discussed the new normal, which I don’t want any part of. One thing he astonishingly mentioned was that we now would all have more trust in scientists, because, well, for example, masks do work and CV-19 isn’t like the flu. How the WSJ can publish this crap without challenge is unfathomable. Early on I two or three times wrote posts on the tyranny of the experts. Any person, no matter what their education or experience, is just that, a human being, and therefore subject to all the usual biases and irrational thought processes of humans. “Science” has been thoroughly corrupted and these two items he mentions are prime examples of the inability to distinguish real evidence and logical analysis from ideologically driven drivel and mass delusion and hysteria.
The flu comparison you have heard my take on recently. That pathogen is much worse than CV-19, across a wider age range. As I said, imagine the same testing and death attribution as for CV-19, and no vaccine, and flu is far, far worse. Masks, you have also heard me say repeatedly that there is no real evidence that they make a difference in stopping community transmission of CV-19. The macro evidence–the comparison of relative mask use in different places versus cases–is clear. No correlation. The why is obvious as well–can’t repeatedly stop small particles from penetrating, leakage, gaps, improper use, touching, etc. They are virus collection devices, what do you think happens when pathogens collect in one place right at the entry to the respiratory tract? The killer study is coming, the randomized trial from Denmark. Apparently the authors are having trouble getting it published, the lead author responded to an email inquiring about the study by saying it would be published as soon as they found a journal brave enough to print it. That likely tells you what the results were.
I don’t want a new normal where we all supposedly accept government, or really one individual, dictating how our lives can be lived. I don’t want a new normal in which just because someone has letter salad behind their name we must accept that they speak the truth. I fear a future in which the population meekly accepts, rather than controls, government actions. I fear a future in which science is used to justify government actions which have no basis in real evidence or data. The Nazis had lots of “science” to justify their policies. I am terrified that what this episode has revealed is that human society has evolved to a place in which mass hysteria and delusion, amplified by technology, drives policy and facilitates attempts to stifle freedom of individuals and questioning of supposed dogma. We have to recognize the evil that has been created and we have to fight against it and ensure that it cannot happen again.