Bob walked down the driveway on his way to check the mail, and was hit with a horrifically noxious odor. He glanced around for the dead whatever, and saw neighbor Tom with a garden sprayer carefully applying a repugnant something to his lawn.
“What the hell are you spraying, Tom?” he shouted. “That shit reeks!”
Tom straightened up, smiling. “It’s elephant repellent. Those suckers are hell on lawns.”
“Elephant repellent! Are you nuts? This is Georgia; we don’t have elephants except in zoos.”
Tom beamed proudly. “See? It works.”
I’m sure you’ve heard that, or some variant before. But now you’re living it.
IHME told us we all going to die if we didn’t “social distance” and go into house arrest. When the real world didn’t match the predictions (and never did), they said, “See? It works.”
Let’s take Georgia for example. DPH conveniently graphs cases for us.
This is what the statewide cases look like, and they’ve even overlaid the graph with lines indicating when large gatherings were banned and when we went into lockdown. If social distancing and lockdowns “worked” we would expect to see discontinuities in the trend line at those dates.
We don’t see the “expected” discontinuities. In fact, if you look closely, what you do see is:
- Once the epidemic kicked in we had a sharp rise until March 19.
- At March 20, we see the trend begin to slow slightly. That’s days before the large gathering ban.
- From March 20 to April 11 — that’s through the gathering ban (March 23) and the lockdown (April 2), the trend is darned near linear.
This is an “ideal” model of an epidemic, based on typical spread of any epidemic.
Does that look familiar? If the lockdown et al “worked,” our trend curve should have topped out early, then run more less flat for an extended period of time. Instead…
We peaked and declined just like any other epidemic.
There is a final test of whether the draconian measures “worked.” If the lockdown was making a noticeable difference, then approximately two weeks (SARS-CoV-2 incubation period runs around 3-14 days) after it ended in Georgia, we should see a significant uptick in new cases, as people “start” getting exposed again.
So far there’s no sign of a an uptick, but while it could have started showing, it probably won’t for a few more days. And then reporting will have to catch up.
As I’ve said before, I don’t think we’ll see the uptick, for the same reason we didn’t see the “expected” discontinuities is daily cases: COVID-19 was already widespread long before the “Oh my god, we’re all gonna die” reactions.” As the Diamond Princess and Roosevelt case studies showed, along with random COVID-19 virus and antigen testing, the disease is widespread, and almost no one knows they had it.
Our glorious leaders sold us elephant repellent.