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Confusing COVID-19 Data

The Riddle Report 12 04 2020

Covid-19 Cases Up!

Covid-19 Hospitalizations Up!

Covid-19 Deaths Up!

Covid-19 Death Rate Down!

How can that be?

Perhaps this strikes me more than you since I’ve worked with numbers most of my life. But logic tells me that if Cases, Hospitalizations, and Deaths are up then so should the Death Rate.

What is the Death Rate?

The Death Rate is simple division. You take the Total Numbers of Deaths-to-Date and divide that number by the Total Number of Cases-to-Date. For Example, today’s published deaths for this year-to-date are 275,550 while the published cases for this year-to-date are 14,086,016. When you divide the Cases into the Deaths you get 0.01956 or 1.96% which is lower than last March’s high of 2.04%.

Now, even if you compensate for the lag time, generally considered 2 weeks although it could be longer, you still get a plunging death rate.

The Numbers Don’t Add UP

It makes one suspicious when such discrepancies occur. If all three (cases, hospitalizations, and deaths) are up then it stands to reason that the death rate would also be up. Anyone can figure out the death rate, but we are dependent upon CDC and others (including the news media) to keep us informed.

So, What is Happening?

It looks to me like someone is not being honest. Like I said, the numbers aren’t adding up. We know for a fact that the cases are up in certain areas of the country. We also know that hospitalizations are up in certain areas of the country. And it is possible that deaths are up in certain parts of the country.

What I suspect is that these ‘certain areas’ are not all the same. For example, cases are up in Findlay Ohio? Are hospitalizations and deaths? For Hancock County (where Findlay is located) the deaths are 46 year-to-date and cases are 2845 year-to-date for a death rate 1.62%. However, the week-to-week increase was more around 15% for deaths. And that may explain the differences.

The News Media Reports Week to Week

When you do that you make things seem far worse than they are. The only true gauge, in my opinion, is month to month or, better, year-to-date. Year-to-date takes into account lag time between cases and related deaths. It doesn’t focus on spikes but on overall trends.

Isn’t This A Second Wave?

That is what they tell us. But getting back to Hancock, Ohio the chart (not shown here) shows very little in the way of cases and deaths until just recently. And the report I looked at today shows a sudden drop off to 0 cases for the last two days. To me this means it is still the First Wave which hadn’t really hit the area earlier. But it sounds more alarming when you call it a second wave instead of a spike.

Again, a longer time span is more instructive than a short one. And a large area is also more instructive. This is great for us trying to understand the trends, but for individuals and families with Covid-19 they are in the now and trends don’t mean much.

So, Why the Difference?

In my opinion, it is because it serves the news media’s agenda to publish the more alarming data. And it justifies the liberal politicians’ pursuit of total lockdowns and mask mandates.

Are We Going to have Mask Mandates?

It looks like it in some communities. I, personally, am not opposed to wearing masks and social distancing. Of the two, I believe social distancing is more effective. Both together may be even more effective. But extreme measures are not warranted and so far, if you look at the states with stringent rules, it doesn’t work.

I believe that President Trump hit the nail on the head when he said, repeatedly, ‘you cannot have the cure worse than the disease’.

Common Sense is in Short Supply.

Common sense tells you that taking precautions such as wearing a mask and social distancing may help friends, neighbors, and relatives. These should not be mandated. Period. I am glad that the Supreme Court stepped in and by all appearances gave a unanimous decision striking down California’s war on churches. The state was willing to throw the rights of the people and the rights of churches under the bus, but the court said, ‘No’.

Liberal politicians are using ‘panic’ to further their political agendas. And that is wrong. Don’t believe me. The Democratic controlled House of Representatives waited until after the election to compromise on the Relief Bill. They could have done so before the election, but they waited until it appeared that Biden won.

Did Biden Win?

That’s another subject but the evidence that the news media says doesn’t exist is so overwhelming that there is serious doubt about a Biden win. Now that the lawsuits are moving into the federal court system and away from the state courts (primarily controlled by Democrats) the issues and the evidence are being taken seriously.

Will We Ever Know the Truth About Covid-19 and the Election?

Those are two different issues. It is possible there are connections, but I am treating them as separate. The truth about Covid-19 will take time. There is ample evidence the virus while deadly is not nearly as deadly as the media reports. How deadly is a matter of looking back over time. But yes, I think we will eventually know the truth.

As for the Election, the answer to that will come much faster. You have courts and state legislatures (who are the only ones with the final say according to the U.S. Constitution) that are already investigating. And don’t forget we have a Senate runoff election coming up in Georgia. That is already stirring up legal scrutiny.

But they must decide these things soon to determine who leads our country for the next four years. My own opinion is that President Trump will emerge as having won the election. But only God knows the truth right now.

R Frederick Riddle is the Editor of TR Writing Services providing help to struggling and/or new authors to write and publish their books. He is also an author of Historical, Speculative, and Mystery fiction, plus co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books. To reply to any blog you can comment on a blog and/or send an email to His Facebook page is at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

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The Riddle Report 11 18 2020

So, now the government wants us to forego Thanksgiving. Governors are not only suggesting it, but some are going Orwellian and threatening jail time. We Americans have the right to assemble in our churches and in our homes to worship and thank God for His blessings.

Shouldn’t we be careful though?

Should we be careful? Of course, but suggesting we limit the size of family that visits us or that we insist on testing is going too far. That is the politics of fear. I understand that the cases have been spiking and some hospitals are having difficulties. But the nation as a whole is experiencing a decline in the death rate. That means that the virus is still deadly, but less so than it was in May when the death rate hit its highest level at 5.8%. It is now down to 2.23% and dropping.

What about locally?

Here in Florida the cases have risen to 897,323 since January and 17,644 deaths for a death rate of 1.97%. Meanwhile Texas has year-to-date cases of 1,078,875 and 20,147 deaths for a death rate of 1.87%. With the media constantly emphasizing the case load and the total number of deaths it lends itself to creating panic. It is a case of overreaching by the media and perhaps by some politicians seeking their own glory.

It might also be noted that now there are effective measures in place to help people who contract the virus. It is not like it was in the period of March thru May. Doctors have the tools, hospitals can order the supplies needed, and the government can get these supplies to the hospitals. One more thing to consider. The media points to the fact that 11 million people have contracted the disease and 245,000 have died. But the total population as of 2019 was 328 million.

What does that mean?

It means that only 3.35% of Americans have contracted the disease since January and 2.23% of the patients have died. We need to keep these low numbers in mind because the media will ignore them. And remember those numbers include all cases since the beginning of January not just the last two weeks!

What should we do?

Common sense tells you that if you live in an area that is hit hard you need to practice social distancing and wear masks. In fact, that is not bad advice for anywhere. But the testing part I am not so sure about. It seems to me that the testing is so broad that it captures people who don’t really have the disease and instead have other conditions like the flu or a simple cold. It is misleading and creates doubt and fear.

To put it simply, I don’t believe the doctors really know the symptoms and are using a wide net hoping to catch the real infected people. And if your only concern is to beat the virus then perhaps that is ok. But our concern needs to be more narrowly focused.

With the election over, as far as the voting is concerned, the need to cause panic should also be over. Politicians need to act more responsibly and more in line with our constitution. Locking down homes and businesses is a draconian response and certainly not responsible leadership. I know of people who have contracted Covid-19 and everyone of them has responded responsibly. That is the American way.

Personally, my wife and I will probably stay home for Thanksgiving, but not because of Covid-19. It is an opportunity for the two of us to spend some time thanking the Lord for His care. Our health is good right now, my wife is in remission, and we enjoy one another. If we have the opportunity to visit family, we will certainly consider it.

Here’s a thought: Instead of letting a disease control you, take control yourself. You decide what the risks are and what, if any, risks you are willing to take. Thanksgiving is not just a time of fellowship; it is a time when we can and should thank God. It is a spiritual right and responsibility for all Christians.

It is not the responsibility of the government to tell us whether we can go to church, visit family, or what health steps we should take. We are fully capable of handling this without the government’s intervention.

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R Frederick Riddle is the Editor of TR Writing Services providing help to struggling and/or new authors to write and publish their books. He is also an author of Historical, Speculative, and Mystery fiction, plus co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books. To reply to any blog you can comment on a blog and/or send an email to His Facebook page is at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.