Correlation is Not Causation

Hat tip: Scissorhead Dennis Cole

Axios afternoon email thingie tells us that Texas, America’s Lab for Bad Policy is stopping their loosening of pandemic restrictions:

1 big thing: America’s reopening grinds to a halt

America’s great economic reopening is hitting a major snag, just like the public health experts warned.

Why it matters: Confirmed case counts are soaring to the point where Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is pausing the state’s reopening and canceling elective surgeries to stockpile PPE.

  • The number of Texans hospitalized with COVID-19 has tripled since Memorial Day, the Texas Tribune reports.
  • The state still has plenty of hospital beds, but hospital officials are rushing to add more capacity and shift patients around.

The big picture: Face masks are essential to slowing the coronavirus’ spread, but they have become politicized in recent months.

  • Wearing face masks “could result in a large reduction in risk of infection,” according to a recent review of 172 studies, Axios Science editor Alison Snyder and Eileen Drage O’Reilly report.
  • But conservatives who prize individual autonomy over social responsibility experience “a massive pushback of psychological resistance” when presented with mask mandates, psychology professor Steven Taylor told Axios Future editor Bryan Walsh.
  • This is partly a failure by public health experts. CDC guidance has flip-flopped on wearing masks during the pandemic, and white lies meant to preserve PPE for health workers has backfired big time.
  • 🚨The CDC now thinks the realistic estimate of cases could be as high as 23 million — 10x the current tally — because of asymptomatic carriers.

Between the lines: Unlike the mass confusion of mid-March, Americans now have a reasonable sense of what to do in a pandemic.

  • If you’re at risk, stay home.
  • If you’re not at risk and won’t stay at home, put on a mask and wash your hands, don’t socialize indoors and stay 6 feet apart.

The bottom line: This round of outbreaks may be concentrated among young people, but at a certain level of spread, the older folks could get it too.

  • “We have consistently underestimated this virus,” Ashish Jha of Harvard reminded the AP.


This entry was posted in Distancing, Flush The Toilet Properly, masks, Pandemics, Shelter-in-Place, Shut Yo Mouth Fools, Testing, Texas, America's Lab for Bad Policy, Wash Yo Hands Fools. Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to Correlation is Not Causation

  1. Dennis Cole says:

    “We have consistently underestimated this virus,” Ashish Jha of Harvard reminded the AP.

    What do you mean, “WE?” Don’t make ME part of that WE; I’ve been paying fucking attention since the day after the Impeachment Trial; remember that one? So long ago ’twas……
    “I can still feel the breeze, that rustles through the trees, and misty memories of days gone byyyy…”

    Seems to me the “Experts” were shunted aside at every presser, and had a helluva hard time trying to get their point across, which was, and never changed – testing, Testing, TESTING! And face masks! Keep your distance! And on and on, every single day, almost all year, how can you possibly make such a stupid claim?!?!?!


  2. Conservatives who prize individual autonomy over social responsibility experience “a massive pushback of psychological resistance” when presented with mask mandates, says Steven Taylor, the author of “The Psychology of Pandemics.”

    Yet, oddly they continue to wear clothes without complaint, when the state can criminally prosecute them for failing to do.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Redhand says:

    I don’t think we are going to begin dealing with this deadly threat until after LDN is decisively gone. His insane 4th Reich rallies will continue right through the election, and then he will go even more apeshit trying to stay in office because of the “rigged election.” So there will be even more chaos and turmoil.

    Unless we experience a landslide result, expect the election to be mired in the courts and this fuckwit to call for armed resistance to the result. So, for the first time in our history, in the middle of a pandemic, we will not experience a “peaceful transition of power.”

    Assuming Biden does take over with a solidly Democratic Congress, we will be so far behind in combating this pandemic effectively — a fucking year — that the damage to our society and economy will take generations to set right: certainly not within my remaining years.

    Will we be “the leader of the free world” again? I don’t think so. We are now an object of international pity if not contempt. How can anyone now admire the USA after seeing the dark underbelly of racism and authoritarianism Trump has exposed and exploited, and the utter failure of our governmental system to curb him? Who the fuck would want to be like us after all the human rights abuses we have committed in the last four years? Who the fuck would want to be like us seeing that we have let a madman destroy the economy and let a pandemic run rampant among our population because covering up his failures is better than trying to deal with them?

    Worst of all, I fear “white America,” and the GOP willingness to trash democracy in pursuit of unrestrained power by any means. A little less than half our population no longer believes in democracy or representative government.

    The only way I see us as having a chance of coming back is by regarding the GOP as the South after the Civil War, assuming the electoral win is large enough. And this time there can’t be a retreat from Reconstruction. Not after what these mutherfukkers have done to us.

    End of Rant. Obviously, I am not in a good mood.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Dennis Cole says:

      Redhand – it helps to vent. Blow it all out, man. And to your “Who the fuck would want” list, can I add Who the fuck would want to be our ally, let alone our friend? tRump has reached a new height in insane behavior, or a new low, but to me, his delusions of grandeur may lead him to think he can “conquer” America by Stealth, or Force, or Guile & cunning, Cheating & Lying, or a combination of everything, and once that’s done, * he can set out to conquer the World*, having ZERO need of friends or allies.

      Liked by 1 person

    • roket says:

      Many of us share your sentiment and the world is in fact watching. Now for something really depressing and also prescient, read this.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Infidel753 says:

    The number of Texans hospitalized with COVID-19 has tripled since Memorial Day

    And this is why places like Florida will ultimately fail in trying to hide the scope of the problem. They can fake the data or take it off their website, but when hospitals get inundated, they can’t hide that.


    • Redhand says:

      They can fake the data or take it off their website, but when hospitals get inundated, they can’t hide that.

      After a while, the deaths of family members, friends, and co-workers also become harder to ignore.


    • roket says:

      If FL is lying about their numbers then they should prepare for the great apocalyptic rapture. (Personally I’m thinking the virus has morphed there. Also in CA & TX.) According to Woldometers on June 24 FL reported 5,511 new cases. On June 25, 5,004 new cases. So far today, 8,942 new cases. The republicans are now on track to completely destroy FL’s economy because of their incessant greed.


  5. tengrain says:

    One of the things I am starting to look at is the relationship between the counties that are spiking out of control and their percentage of GOP registered voters. Of course not all Republican counties are spiking, but if a county is spiking, I’m seeing a majority Republican voters.

    I mean it’s sort of a No-D’uh proposition given the Death Cult status, but at least here in WA there seems to be a strong correlation. Yakima County was the first one I looked at and it is startling; Spokane is similar, but it is only slightly majority Republican. But as I said, correlation is not causation, and I don’t want to suggest it is predictive.



    Liked by 1 person

    • Dennis Cole says:

      TG – don’t forget – we’re still #1! In new cases, in deaths, but most of all…………dishonor.


  6. Chris Papalia says:

    …we will not experience a “peaceful transition of power.”

    @redhand, at this stage, I think that is almost certainly the case.
    And it is no longer just our gut feelings saying that:

    Liked by 2 people

  7. spotthedog says:

    Some very good thoughtful posts here, and I can’t add much to what’s been said. I am recalling a conversation I had with a right-leaning relative a couple months back; the thoughts I conveyed to him were that you can’t bullshit a pandemic virus like this and politicizing it is counterproductive. He told me he had read online that country singer Joe Diffie had actually died from lung cancer instead of Covid-19 (later exposed as a false conspiracy theory story), whatever. It seems that reality, as in the form of the current resurgence, has to thoroughly mow people down before the bullshit and politicization can begin to be pushed back.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. The CDC and WHO and scientists have flip flopped on masks so much that it’s crazy. However, that’s the nature of science. Things hage to researched and positions may change. Unfortunately, explaining that to the general public isn’t an easy job. Some of them genuinely believe mask are the root of all evil.


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