Monday, October 19, 2020

Response to herd immunity post.

I made these comments in response to the notion that the way to fight COVID is for enough people to get the disease to develop herd immunity. It was claimed that the death rate in New York has gone to almost zero... We can look at stats here: As of today, New York state has 892 new cases compared to 1584 cases for Indiana, despite New York having roughly 3 times the population. The total death rate in New York compared to cases is 6.4%. The total death rate in Indiana is 2.65%, which matches the US rate. However, in both states, if you compare deaths to recovered+deaths, which reflects the total number of resolved cases, then you get a higher percentage because this factors out unresolved cases. In New York, I get 7.5%, and in Indiana, we get 3.5%, and for the whole country, we get 4.1% If you compare new deaths to new cases, then you get 1.55% for New York and 1.45% in Indiana. Since these are only one-day figures, the numbers could be way off, but this is a long way from zero. You could attribute lower death rates due to better health treatments. Early death rates were spiked by mismanagement, especially in New York. It is not proven that the number of new cases in New York is is lower due to herd immunity, especially since only about 2.5% of the population has been infected. New York has been in lockdown for months, and they have been stricter than most states. It has been claimed that there are a larger number of asymptomatic cases, and there likely is, but I don't think that we have good evidence of what that is. The World Health Organization thinks that 1/10 people have been infected, but that still leaves 90% of the population who can spread the disease. The most optimistic projection that I have seen for the death rate of COVID is around 0.7%. This comes from the CDC. Infect 300 million people and you still have 2 million deaths.

We are so close to a vaccine that we should be trying to prevent more people from getting sick and dying.


Star Trek: Lower Decks Showrunner Claims Every Starfleet Officer Is "Baseline Bisexual"

McMahan did a recent interview with Variety, where he discussed quite a bit of his plans for the second season of the animated show while also confirming that they're planning to explore Ensign Mariner's sexuality more prominently.

During the interview, McMahan revealed that Mariner was romantically involved with Captain Amina Ramsey when the two were at the Academy.

The showrunner stated, "The thing about privilege is that some people have it, some people don't. But everybody has their own story as well."

He continued, "There's an episode in the first season where you meet Mariner's close friend, confidant, and probably lover from the Academy days, who literally says, 'You used to be the best of us, you were going to be a captain, what happened to you?'"

That character is Captain Amina Ramsey. And McMahan would be asked a follow-up on that revelation confirming if she is indeed her lover.

He responded, "We weren't explicit about it, because most of the relationships in this show are familial or friendship love. It's not physical love. That character showing up, the story we're telling about them has nothing to do with any previous relationships they've had."

He then went on to reveal that all the Starfleet officers on the show are "baseline bisexual."

He stated, "For me and for the writers as we were making this, we didn't intentionally mean for anybody to be strictly heteronormative or straight or cis. Every Starfleet officer is probably at the baseline bisexual, in a way. That being said, I am not the most amazing person at writing those kind of stories. I think we get a little bit better about it in the second season."

McMahan would also discuss the show's inclusiveness. He stated, "It's something I think we need to be better about. If there's anything I can say about inclusiveness — whether it's about sex or gender or race or anything — is that I know that I can always learn more and be better about it, and I'm always trying to do that."

He then specifically stated they should have made it clearer that Mariner had a female lover, "This is one of those cases where we could have done a better job of explicitly stating the things that the writers always knew about Mariner. It seeps in there in little ways, which even irritates me even more, like you start off the season with Mariner saying, "Whoa, she's like the hottest girl on the ship, are you nervous?" —  that's one of her first lines."

McMahan continued, "That doesn't put a stake in the ground, which I wish we had done a little bit more explicitly. It's always a learning experience. We're going to be trying to be better about it. And we are more explicit about it in the second season."

Friday, October 16, 2020

Spike in new COVID cases.

Not long ago in Indiana, we were looking at 500 new cases per day. I was kind of surprised when it crept over 1,000. The latest includes 300 cases whose reporting was delayed for technical reasons, but that still leaves us with 2,000 new cases.


Saturday, October 10, 2020

Mark Ruffalo Accuses Israel and America of ‘Apartheid’

Mark Ruffalo has been extremely outspoken lately, mostly trashing Trump and Republicans with some really rude comments. As much as I like the actor, this lowers my opinion of him. Unfortunately, he is not the only one.

Best wishes,

John Coffey

The Rush Limbaugh Show | iHeartRadio

Rush welcomes President Trump for the largest Radio Rally in history.

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

The Side Effects of Vaccines - How High is the Risk?

Declassified docs show CIA briefed Obama on Hillary's plan to link Trump to Russia

AOC Threatens Americans: "You're Not Going Back to Brunch"

The secret history of dirt

This is a bit environmentalist but interesting nevertheless.

It would be reasonable to assume that farmers have some training in how to take care of their soil as well as some incentive to do so.  Otherwise, they would be getting lower yields every year.  It is possible that they rely heavily on chemical fertilizers, which is mostly just nitrogen, instead of natural ones.  Chemical fertilizers are derived from fossil fuels, which are a finite resource.