Monday, July 27, 2020
Refusing to wear a mask (with an exception if doing so truly hampers breathing) and so forth is akin to refusing to obey traffic laws. It increases risk for ones self and other people in the vicinity. That some part of government prescribes what preventive measures people should take is quite unimportant to me. If a business or private road or property owner had and enforced the same rules, would the person who objects still object? Refusing to comply with the only “reason” being freedom dismisses personal responsibility and the reality of the virus. One’s person freedom ends when it impinges the equal freedom of others, and vice-versa.
When I take precautions against the coronavirus, I do so for my self-interest and a regard for the health and lives others. What government says about it is unimportant. Likewise, I drive with my personal safety in mind, which has a consequent regard for the safety of others.
The free-stater man interviewed here doesn’t make the same analogy but agrees about taking preventative measures against the coronavirus. An article The Libertarian Case for Masks describes anti-masking as an irrational anti-government symbolic gesture that all but guarantees more government overreach.
Friday, July 24, 2020
Thursday, July 23, 2020
Dozens of research studies have been done to calculate an infection-fatality rate for Covid-19. Such research -- examining deaths out of the total number of infections, which includes unreported cases that can only be estimated -- suggests that Covid-19 kills from around 0.3% to 1.5% of people infected. Most studies put the rate between 0.5% and 1.0%, meaning that for every 1,000 people who get infected, from five to 10 would die on average. The average is about 0.68%. The U.S. CDC estimate is 0.65%.
The estimates suggest the new coronavirus is deadlier than the seasonal flu, which has an infection-fatality rate of about 0.1%. Among confirmed global cases for Covid-19, roughly 4.2% of those people died (3.6% in the USA thru July 22). The percent of deaths among people with confirmed infections is higher than the percent of deaths among all infections, since many milder and asymptomatic Covid-19 cases are not in the denominator for confirmed but are for all. The U.S. CDC has estimated that for every known case of Covid-19, roughly 10 more went unrecorded through the beginning of May. From March to early May, the total number of infections was likely 6 to 24 times greater than the number of reported cases depending on the state, the agency said in a paper published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine.
Covid-19 is not as lethal as SARS, MERS, or Ebola. Their case fatality rates range from about 10% to over 50%. (The article doesn't give infection-fatality rates for them. Ebola was mainly in Africa, where I suspect data collection and reporting are very deficient.) The coronavirus is killing more people than the deadlier diseases because it has infected many more people.
The Covid-19 fatality rate varies a lot depending on age, sex and pre-existing medical conditions. Researchers in the U.S. and Switzerland examined data from the Swiss city of Geneva to calculate fatality rates for different age groups. They found those over 65 had an infection-fatality rate of 5.6% — 40 times the risk of someone in their 50s.
Monday, July 20, 2020
Monday, July 13, 2020
In 2019 police officers fatally shot 1,004 people, most of whom were armed or otherwise dangerous. African-Americans were about a quarter of those killed by cops last year (235), a ratio that has remained stable since 2015. That share of black victims is less than what the black crime rate would predict, since police shootings are a function of how often officers encounter armed and violent suspects. In 2018, the latest year for which such data have been published, African-Americans made up 53% of known homicide offenders in the U.S. and commit about 60% of robberies, though they are 13% of the population.
The police fatally shot nine unarmed blacks and 19 unarmed whites in 2019, according to a Washington Post database, down from 38 and 32, respectively, in 2015. The Post defines “unarmed” broadly to include such cases as a suspect in Newark, N.J., who had a loaded handgun in his car during a police chase. In 2018 there were 7,407 black homicide victims. Assuming a comparable number of victims last year, those nine unarmed black victims of police shootings represent 0.1% of all African-Americans killed in 2019.
A 2015 Justice Department analysis of the Philadelphia Police Department found that white police officers were less likely than black or Hispanic officers to shoot unarmed black suspects.