The numbers don’t justify Americans’ willingness to abandon liberty

America, "the land of the free and the home of the brave."  Or maybe not.  One of the most unnerving things about the Wuhan virus's appearance on our shores is the speed with which people willingly abandoned their traditional liberties to stay safe.  Just last week, a Kaiser Health poll found that 80% of Americans are willing to accept the shutdown for another month.  This is a staggering notion, considering that, in California alone, 20% of the population is unemployed.

It's likewise staggering when one considers that the mortality rate is around that of the flu and that, like the flu, it targets the old and the sick, with occasional unlucky young people thrown into the mix.  It also targets people in exceptionally virus-rich environments, so they need extra Personal Protective Equipment.  The rest of us, though, are pretty safe.  In other words, Americans seem willing to accept a police state and the destruction of the American economy to be protected against...the flu.  Indeed, it's possible the death rate is even lower than the flu because the Wuhan virus is now the default cause of death on death certificates:

To appreciate what's going on here, both Wisconsin and California provide examples of the way in which the government is taking advantage of what is proving to be a very low-risk disease.

In Wisconsin, the media have been hyping the fact that 52 people who worked on or voted in the April 7 election (the one the Democrats tried to stop) ended up diagnosed with the Wuhan virus.  There are two problems with this hype.  First, it's impossible to tell whether it was standing in line at the election or working at a polling place that caused these 52 people to become ill.

Second, 52 people is statistically insignificant.  Around 400,000 people appeared in person to vote in the election.  Even if all those infections occurred because of the election, it's only a 0.013% infection rate.

Indeed, the number of deaths in Wisconsin, while each is an individual tragedy, is also statistically insignificant.  As of this writing, 308 people out of a Wisconsin population of 5,851,754 people have died from the Wuhan virus (assuming the death certificates were accurate).  That equals 0.005% of the population.  Additionally, most of those who died were in their 70s or older.

By comparison, in New York, 84 subway workers have died from the Wuhan virus, and there is a fairly straight line between that specific job and death.  Despite this carnage, the subway system is only now, very slowly, beginning to disinfect its cars.  Because those deaths cannot be blamed on an election that Republicans said needed to be held, the mainstream media are ignoring them.

Despite that 0.005% mortality rate, some people in Wisconsin law enforcement are on a power trip.  The deputies' arrogance in this video should concern us all (language warning):

Things are even crazier in California.  Originally, Gov. Gavin Newsom intended to close all the beaches in California after grateful citizens left house arrest and went to the beach.  Perhaps Newsom was persuaded to take this draconian step based on trick shots that made it appear people were crowded together, rather than spaced out in household-friendly clumps.

Eventually, Newsom was persuaded to leave some state beaches open and closed only Orange County beaches, overriding local officials to do so.  Newsom concluded the order with a threat to close even more places for a longer time:

Newsom said those packed beaches were "disturbing" and makes it more difficult for him to consider relaxing the state's mandatory stay-at-home order.

"The only thing that will delay it is more weekends like last weekend," he said. "Let's not see that happen."

California has more than 49,000 cases and more than 1,950 deaths, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. 

Nineteen hundred fifty deaths?!  Well, that puts California on par with Wisconsin.  The state's population is 39,937,489.  Two thousand or so deaths equals 0.005% of the population.  Given Newsom's punitive streak and his draconian policies, it's not surprising that even Californians, who are not very liberty-oriented, are getting fed up with him.

While it's clear that the Wuhan virus is really nasty, we are in a better situation than we were six weeks ago.  Our hospitals are empty (and going bankrupt).  We've learned about treatments that, if given early, seem to work well.  We know that the virus fares poorly in the sunshine and is almost impossible to transmit outdoors, for it needs a hefty viral load to infect people.  We've seen that the Swedish model of social distance within the context of normal life works.  We know that a surprising number of people have had the virus, and South Korea's data establish that, contrary to the WHO's panicky prediction, this creates immunity.

With this knowledge, we should be opening America, not clamping down on it even harder.  It would be helpful to know whether it's fear or something more nefarious that is driving the continued shutdown because that would allow us to educate Americans about the risks of disease versus systemic destruction.

America, "the land of the free and the home of the brave."  Or maybe not.  One of the most unnerving things about the Wuhan virus's appearance on our shores is the speed with which people willingly abandoned their traditional liberties to stay safe.  Just last week, a Kaiser Health poll found that 80% of Americans are willing to accept the shutdown for another month.  This is a staggering notion, considering that, in California alone, 20% of the population is unemployed.

It's likewise staggering when one considers that the mortality rate is around that of the flu and that, like the flu, it targets the old and the sick, with occasional unlucky young people thrown into the mix.  It also targets people in exceptionally virus-rich environments, so they need extra Personal Protective Equipment.  The rest of us, though, are pretty safe.  In other words, Americans seem willing to accept a police state and the destruction of the American economy to be protected against...the flu.  Indeed, it's possible the death rate is even lower than the flu because the Wuhan virus is now the default cause of death on death certificates:

To appreciate what's going on here, both Wisconsin and California provide examples of the way in which the government is taking advantage of what is proving to be a very low-risk disease.

In Wisconsin, the media have been hyping the fact that 52 people who worked on or voted in the April 7 election (the one the Democrats tried to stop) ended up diagnosed with the Wuhan virus.  There are two problems with this hype.  First, it's impossible to tell whether it was standing in line at the election or working at a polling place that caused these 52 people to become ill.

Second, 52 people is statistically insignificant.  Around 400,000 people appeared in person to vote in the election.  Even if all those infections occurred because of the election, it's only a 0.013% infection rate.

Indeed, the number of deaths in Wisconsin, while each is an individual tragedy, is also statistically insignificant.  As of this writing, 308 people out of a Wisconsin population of 5,851,754 people have died from the Wuhan virus (assuming the death certificates were accurate).  That equals 0.005% of the population.  Additionally, most of those who died were in their 70s or older.

By comparison, in New York, 84 subway workers have died from the Wuhan virus, and there is a fairly straight line between that specific job and death.  Despite this carnage, the subway system is only now, very slowly, beginning to disinfect its cars.  Because those deaths cannot be blamed on an election that Republicans said needed to be held, the mainstream media are ignoring them.

Despite that 0.005% mortality rate, some people in Wisconsin law enforcement are on a power trip.  The deputies' arrogance in this video should concern us all (language warning):

Things are even crazier in California.  Originally, Gov. Gavin Newsom intended to close all the beaches in California after grateful citizens left house arrest and went to the beach.  Perhaps Newsom was persuaded to take this draconian step based on trick shots that made it appear people were crowded together, rather than spaced out in household-friendly clumps.

Eventually, Newsom was persuaded to leave some state beaches open and closed only Orange County beaches, overriding local officials to do so.  Newsom concluded the order with a threat to close even more places for a longer time:

Newsom said those packed beaches were "disturbing" and makes it more difficult for him to consider relaxing the state's mandatory stay-at-home order.

"The only thing that will delay it is more weekends like last weekend," he said. "Let's not see that happen."

California has more than 49,000 cases and more than 1,950 deaths, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. 

Nineteen hundred fifty deaths?!  Well, that puts California on par with Wisconsin.  The state's population is 39,937,489.  Two thousand or so deaths equals 0.005% of the population.  Given Newsom's punitive streak and his draconian policies, it's not surprising that even Californians, who are not very liberty-oriented, are getting fed up with him.

While it's clear that the Wuhan virus is really nasty, we are in a better situation than we were six weeks ago.  Our hospitals are empty (and going bankrupt).  We've learned about treatments that, if given early, seem to work well.  We know that the virus fares poorly in the sunshine and is almost impossible to transmit outdoors, for it needs a hefty viral load to infect people.  We've seen that the Swedish model of social distance within the context of normal life works.  We know that a surprising number of people have had the virus, and South Korea's data establish that, contrary to the WHO's panicky prediction, this creates immunity.

With this knowledge, we should be opening America, not clamping down on it even harder.  It would be helpful to know whether it's fear or something more nefarious that is driving the continued shutdown because that would allow us to educate Americans about the risks of disease versus systemic destruction.