Numbers don’t lie

The mainstream media over here in Ireland have picked up on the ‘Numbers don’t lie’ theme and are abusing it by misrepresenting the data on their front pages, by posting overall death stats without context, or how they fit in with the seasonal norms. Mr Cummins, see below, gives the context the mainstream media and politicians won’t, or can’t provide. He points out that overall mortality (All deaths) is down on 2015, 2016 & 2019 according to the Euromomo all cause mortality stats. To clarify, overall mortality, not just deaths attributable to SARS/COV-2 is less than ‘normal’, (albeit marginally) despite an increasing population and the spike of deaths in March and April 2020.

Derived from the statistical analysis, a great deal of the ‘cases’ appear to be nosocomial (Hospital originating) infections, meaning that if you didn’t have the infection when you went in to hospital, there is a better than average chance you would catch a dose whilst a patient or visitor. Outside, not so much. Hospitals appear to be the sinks of infection, so therefore the only people who should have to be covered by the mask and lockdown regulations are patients, visitors, health care workers and support staff. The rest of the public should be able to go about their business in the world outside the hospital system with minimal risk. The numbers, taken in context, don’t lie. Only those seeking to profit from an unjustified public panic would say otherwise by presenting seasonal norms as something new and outlandish.

So, no need for mask wearing and lockdowns in the general population. Only at hospitals and medical facilities. This is where the effort to contain the spread of any bug is most effective, by improving disease control measures where they can do the most good. Where the sinks of infection are. Which is infection control 101. Control the source, contain the disease.

As for those of you thinking a mask does any good, try the following bit of real experimental science you can do at home. No tricks, no unpleasant bending. Put on a dark coloured jumper. Charcoal or dark blue is best. Being careful not to get talc anywhere else, lightly (lightly! not throw it all over the flaming place!) dust a surgical or cloth mask with ordinary talcum powder on the outside only. Now carefully put on your mask, having first wiped your face with a wet wipe. After that, simply go around the house, doing normal chores for half an hour or so. Now stop. Take a careful look in the mirror. Where is the talc residue on your chest and shoulders? Wipe your face again. Do you find any traces of talcum powder and where do you find them? Around your mouth and nostrils or on the inside of your mask? On your hands? Did you find yourself wanting to sneeze or cough more or less than usual whilst wearing your mask? Look around the house where you’ve been lounging / working / whatever. Where do you find traces of talc? That is where all the germs and viruses go. All over the smegging place. Mask or no.

This is how good a surgical mask is at stopping disease spread in an uncontrolled atmosphere (Your home) whilst you are wearing street clothes. This is why surgical masks work best as part of a structured regimen of disease control. Specifically wearing a disposable apron over freshly laundered scrubs in conjunction with a surgical cap or hood in a controlled atmosphere and regularly disinfectant-treated surfaces, they work just fine at helping reduce the spread of a given pathogen.

This is not to say people aren’t dying from SARS/COV-2 infections, just that as far as a cause of death is concerned, it’s even taken the place of the seasonal influenza toll in parts of the Southern Hemisphere, no idea why that is. Maybe SARS/COV-2 is simply scything down those who would otherwise have been offed by a milder and less infectious, but equally lethal to those with compromised immune systems, seasonal influenza. Which is good, for a given value of ‘good’ because by reducing the numbers of those who are infected with flu, it means those strains of coronavirus caused influenzas may well die out altogether. Why? Because no hosts mean no disease. Viruses, to the best of my knowledge do not multiply without a host, i.e. you or another living creature. Including plants. Funny old thing life, isn’t it?

As for Mrs S and I, we’re healthy and doing very well, having received unexpected gifts and some excellent personal news over the last three days. All we really need to get going properly with the next phase of our grand adventure is for these pointless lockdowns to be removed and we’ll be verily flashing along like greased lightning. As will everyone else. Speed the day that sanity returns.

Now I need a nice hot mug of tea.