September 28, 2020

COVID in Five Midwestern States

Dana Mathewson

An article by Power Line founder John Hinderaker shows, among other things, that the "pandemic" is really less serious than many people make it out to be. There are some interesting figures here, and I wonder what the vaunted Dr. Fauci would say if hit by these out of the clear blue?

Several months ago, I wrote a series of posts about COVID in the five Upper Midwestern states. The comparisons seemed useful because the states are similar in many respects, but their responses to the Wuhan epidemic were very different. Now that more water has gone over the dam, it is a good time to revisit those comparisons.

These are the currently reported rates of "COVID deaths” for the Upper Midwestern states–again, bearing in mind that a "COVID death” is, in most if not all jurisdictions, the death of someone who probably had COVID, regardless of what actually killed him or her.

Minnesota: 0.00036
Wisconsin: 0.00022
Iowa: 0.00040
North Dakota: 0.00025
South Dakota: 0.00023

A few observations come immediately to mind. The first is that a disease with a fatality rate that begins with 0.000 is quite minor. It is remarkable that we have twisted our entire society and economy out of shape, devastating the lives of tens if not hundreds of millions, over this flu bug.

Second, we are seeing a convergence of "fatality” rates among states. When I was following these numbers several months ago, Minnesota’s death rate was around 2 1/2 times that of South Dakota and North Dakota. Now, the Dakotas are catching up, although Minnesota’s fatality rate is still substantially higher. This isn’t hard to explain: any communicable disease spreads more rapidly in densely populated areas. It will spread in the countryside, too, but more slowly. That is what we have been seeing around the country in the past few months, as rural areas are catching up to more urbanized areas.

Third, the data reveal the utter futility of "shutdown” measures such as those that have been enforced in Minnesota and other states. In this sample, the correlation between severity of shutdown and fatality rate is actually negative. South Dakota never adopted a shutdown and has a much lower rate of purported COVID deaths than Minnesota, which had (and still has) one of the harshest shutdown regimes in the country. North Dakota, which had a shutdown but a relatively casual one, also does much better than Minnesota.

Of these comparisons, the most interesting is that between Wisconsin and Minnesota. Both had shutdowns for a while, but Wisconsin’s was invalidated by that state’s Supreme Court. This event was greeted with schadenfreude by Minnesota’s liberals, as in this tweet by the head of the DFL party, with a cartoon by the Minneapolis Star Tribune’s left-wing editorial cartoonist:

And since tweets just don't copy properly, you'll want to go here to see it.

Hinderaker continues:

To say that the Wisconsin disaster failed to materialize is an understatement, as the above numbers show. By any measure, Wisconsin has far outperformed Minnesota despite having no shutdown order in place, and despite being open for business. (Some would say, sort of like how the Green Bay Packers outperform the Minnesota Vikings.) The only reasonable conclusion is that COVID shutdowns have been, at best, useless.

Posted by: Timothy Birdnow at 10:59 AM | Comments (5) | Add Comment
Post contains 552 words, total size 4 kb.

1 Useless is right. We have not prevented a single death from this. We have CAUSED deaths from the worldwide economic slowdown, and will cause more as the second wave of bankruptcies hits the country by next year. A lot of restaurants and bars and breweries are just hanging on and will go kaput in the next quarter or so.

Posted by: Timothy Birdnow at September 29, 2020 06:35 AM (TiSnl)

2 There are a few bars over in Wisconsin that I'd like to go help out, but we're pinching our pennies right now. . .

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4 Shame Dana; it would be nice to be able to help your Visconsin brothers. I wish I was in a position to visit a few bars around here.

Speaking of which, St. Louis and St. Louis County both have kept the bars closed so St. Charles and Jefferson Counties are doing land-office business. It's the best thing to happen to them! Of course, both are run by Republicans, not Democrats.

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