Even if you're a doomer.
Covid, It's Never Going to Be a Regular Winter Bug
Here's a look at the world on constant Covid infections.
As we head into another winter, the media has gotten an early start at reminding everyone that Covid is "just a cold" now. Even as familiar names like Leana Wen finally start encouraging some people to mask, it feels like they're a day late and a dollar short. For the most part, the dominant stories include more and more disturbing suggestions that testing, masking, and even getting vaccinated are pointless and that we shouldn't do them. These stories never include a single link to a peer-reviewed study. They provide no data. Combined with reports of offices and universities throwing away air purifiers and even removing hand sanitizer and paper towel dispensers, you get the uneasy sense that many in positions of authority simply want us to get sick.
It looks like our governments are embracing a regressive stance they once mocked as outrageous, herd immunity through infection. They want to cull the weak, even if the strategy continues to blow up in their face, resulting in yet more waves of chronic illness and disability.
These stories accompany a disturbing data blackout. Almost every single government has suspended testing. Most hospitals won't administer a PCR unless you're going under intensive care. They won't report Covid on death certificates, no matter how much it contributes. The CDC even canceled its contract with Biobot Analytics, throwing the future of wastewater analysis into chaos. As Benjamin Matues writes, Google's new Covid data dashboard "offers little in terms of comprehensible data." That feels like the point.
They've left us in the dark.
The media bombarded us with stories about a drop in excess mortality this year. They say it's returning to normal. It's not. Across the world, public health institutions have exaggerated the decline by changing how they calculate excess deaths. For example, the CDC raised their weekly mortality predictions in order to make it look like excess mortality is back to normal. They also went back to 2020 and revised their original predictions.
They didn't just cook their Covid books.
They barbecued them.
Here’s what it says:
On March 15, 2023, the methodology for estimating excess deaths was updated to account for the fact that approximately 160 weeks of data during the pandemic were being excluded in the algorithm (so that expected values were not inflated due to substantially elevated mortality during the pandemic), resulting in unstable estimates of expected weekly numbers of deaths in some cases. To account for this limitation and provide more stable estimated expected numbers for recent time periods, the Farrington surveillance algorithms (1) were first applied to data through 2020 and used to predict the expected weekly number of deaths through 2020. To estimate the expected number of deaths for 2021, weekly counts of death above the 95% prediction interval in 2020 were replaced with imputed values, assuming that deaths (on average) in 2020 reflected the expected numbers and variability predicted by the Farrington algorithm.
Translation: The CDC went back through the last three years and replaced original mortality estimates with new, higher ones. The end result: They successfully rigged the numbers in order to get rid of those pesky excess deaths, right before archiving the entire dashboard last month.
Here's a chart I made. It shows a baseline of average weekly deaths from 2014-2019, represented by the bottom black line. I compared that to the CDC's new mortality predictions for 2020 and beyond.
Take a look:
The CDC is predicting that roughly 4,000 extra people will die every week now than back in 2019. That explains why their excess mortality numbers look better than they did last year. You can even see a mistake in the 2022 predictions, where they seem to have forgotten to update it.
According to Our World in Data, excess mortality remained between 9 and 11 percent all summer long. They're not trying to cook their books like the CDC. They use the original mortality estimates. The surges might look less frightening, but 10 percent more people are dying all the time now.
People have simply gotten used to it. Psychologists call it shifting baseline syndrome. You adjust to a darker reality.
Take a look:
You might think that population growth explains why the CDC updated their mortality predictions. Well, we can test that theory. We'll just take the CDC's all-cause mortality figures from 2014-2023.
Let's plot them:
I've gone the extra mile here and calculated a death rate that accounts for population growth. After all, the U.S. added about 19 million people over the last decade. It could make a difference.
Look at the red line.
Even when you account for population growth, our death rate for 2023 remains well above the pre-pandemic death rate represented by the black line. You can see the average death rate for 2023 alone, represented by the yellowish orange line. It's well above the 2019 baseline. If you pay attention, you can also see that the monthly death rates during the summer now hover near the previous winter peaks. In other words, more people are dying during the summer now than they were dying during the winter, our worst months.
Look at our new summer mortality rates:
This doesn't look normal to me. It doesn't look like anything to celebrate. It looks like people are dying when they shouldn't be. They're dying from Covid, and it's not being recorded on their death certificates. They're dying from heart attacks, strokes, and other complications months later.
Look at our new winter mortality rates:
Far more people are dying during the fall and winter now. Our governments have offered all kinds of explanations and excuses. If Covid were simply a winter bug, then why is the death rate so high? Why does it stay high all year long, even during the spring and summer months?
Maybe it's not a winter bug.
Some naysayers might try to argue that something else is driving up our mortality rates. For example, maybe lockdowns caused drug overdoses.
True, drug overdoses have surged during the pandemic.
But look carefully...
Fatal drug overdoses started going up during the late fall of 2019. They started hitting records in December and January of 2020. They exploded in March 2020 during lockdowns, and now they remain as high as ever. They account for some of the higher mortality rate, but not all of it.
Despite our supposedly blissful return to normal, drug overdoses are higher now than they were at the height of "lockdowns."
Something else is going on.
If you ask me, it looks like a lot of people are trying to self-medicate chronic illness, either physical or mental. It fits with the research and first-hand accounts of Long Covid and post-Covid conditions. If you felt awful all the time, you'd probably be looking to get high, too.
Covid doesn't have to kill you.
It can just ruin your life.
By now, we have hundreds of studies showing us what Covid does to our long-term health. Unlike the flu, it infects every organ in your body.
It causes heart and brain damage.
Look at these studies:
We also know that Covid disrupts and damages your immune system in ways that show resemblance to HIV, not the flu.
Look at these studies:
Finally, we know that roughly 10-20 percent of Covid infections result in Long Covid, which can feel like Stage 4 cancer.
Look at these studies:
We're seeing the consequences of repeat Covid infections.
The number of workers with a disability has surged over the last three years. The media has tried to present this trend as "exciting," pointing to "less stigma around remote work." I wish that were true. It's also interesting, since these exact same media outlets routinely pump out op-eds shaming us for working from home and badgering us back to the office.
Here's the numbers:
This data actually tells a different story. The number of workers with a disability actually started a sharp decline in late 2020. It keeps going up and up, even as our bosses and their newspapers tell us the era of remote work has come to an end and that it's making us unproductive. The upward trend in workforce disabilities also corresponds with a huge uptick in the number of people complaining about problems with memory and concentration. It also coincides with historic drops in all kinds of standardized test scores.
Meanwhile, the Brookings Institute told us last year that as many as 16 million working-age adults are dealing with Long Covid. Their most common symptoms include memory and concentration problems.
And intense fatigue.
That's not to mention hundreds of teachers telling TikTok that their students can't remember instructions from three minutes ago.
Is it really just a coincidence?
Consider this piece from TIME Magazine that describes a recent surge in Americans who are worried they have ADHD.
Look at this chart:
You might notice a bigger increase in demand for stimulants among women than men, and that just happens to align with research that women are more vulnerable to Long Covid. Again, is it a coincidence?
They're piling up.
As for Sweden...
Covid minimizers look at all of this data, and then they finally fall back on their last defense. They just say, "Sweden."
Okay, let's look at Sweden.
The media has painted the Swedes as paragons of pandemic protocol, pointing to their positive outcomes despite never locking down and never really encouraging masks or even vaccines.
A major study in Nature dispelled all of these myths back in 2022. From every scientific standpoint, Sweden was a total failure. As the L.A. Times puts it, they "deliberately tried to use children to spread Covid-19 and denied care to seniors and those suffering from other conditions."
Here's a direct quote from the study:
Many elderly people were administered morphine instead of oxygen despite available supplies, effectively ending their lives... Potentially life-saving treatment was withheld without medical examination, and without informing the patient or his/her family.
Hospitals wouldn't even admit patients with any comorbidities based on the belief that treatment wouldn't help them. In the end, the only countries who've done worse than Sweden are the U.S. and Britain, who took their ideas and managed to exceed them in their cruelty. Of course, now most countries are doing poorly. They've adopted the western corporate approach, which means letting everyone get sick and making them go to work anyway.
Let's check in on Sweden:
It looks like they had an especially bad winter last year. Their excess death rates haven't even stabilized. If they were such an inspiring success, they should have a low mortality rate, shouldn't they? Instead, they swing wildly back and forth, which makes sense when you consider that their government has withheld treatments and vaccines from nearly everyone, especially the vulnerable. There was never anything to admire here.
It was just eugenics.
It's never never going to be mild.
Most people can't grasp one simple truth. Even their own selfish desires rely on a functional society. As Covid continues spreading and debilitating the population, it's going to get harder to have fun at concerts. It's going to get harder to go on vacations. It's going to get harder to go shopping.
It's going to get harder to enjoy a meal out.
As our workforce degrades and our ability to concentrate or do basic math dissolves, so will these consumer pleasures. So will any fleeting sense of normal that anyone ever pretended to enjoy.
Maybe death isn't the scariest thing for a lot of Americans. Maybe a life of chronic illness doesn't scare them either, even though it should.
I know what they fear.
They fear concerts getting canceled at the last minute. They fear long delays at the airport that ruin their trips. They fear poor service.
They fear a soggy burrito.
They fear getting called into work on their day off because all of their coworkers are sick (again). They fear their kids won't get into an elite school when not even a six-figure donation can sugarcoat those test scores. They fear those same kids will never leave home because they're unemployable.
Covid will do all of that, and worse.
Covid will never be a winter bug.
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