You’re being lied to about small gatherings driving the coronavirus surge

Even the New York Times is now reporting what should be obvious to everyone:  Small groups of people, regularly following social distancing, aren’t super spreaders

What’s the old adage about a blind squirrel occasionally finding an acorn or a broken clock being right twice a day?  Occasionally, even the New York Times gets it right as well.  In this case, the once-great newspaper just exploded the myth that small gatherings are driving the surge of coronavirus sweeping the country:

“Somebody says something, and somebody else says it, and then it just becomes truth,” said Julia Marcus, an infectious disease epidemiologist at Harvard University. “I worry about this narrative that doesn’t yet seem to be data-based.”

What does the available data actually say?

Well, according to the New York Times, in an article by Apoorva Mandavilli published on November 23, 2020:  “In states where a breakdown is available, long-term care facilities, food processing plants, prisons, health care settings, and restaurants and bars are still the leading sources of spread.”

The article even provides a couple of details where that data is available:

  • In Colorado, only 81 active cases are attributed to social gatherings, compared with more than 4,000 from correctional centers and jails, 3,300 from colleges and universities, nearly 2,400 from assisted living facilities, and 450 from restaurants, bars, casinos and bowling alleys
  • In Louisiana, social events account for just 1.7 percent of the 3,300 cases for which the state has clear exposure information

The article’s stunning conclusion:  “It seems like they’re passing off the responsibility for controlling the outbreak to individuals and individual choices,” said Ellie Murray, an epidemiologist at Boston University. “A pandemic is more a failure of the system than the failure of individual choices.”

Perhaps needless to say, there’s another, much less generous, way of looking at this:  You are being lied to, repeatedly, by most of the media and many of our elected leaders.  This trend has been true from the beginning, from massively inflated mortality rates to whether or not it was safe to go back to school all the way to whether a vaccine would be available by the end of the year, and it shows no sign of slowing down.

How else to explain politicians, who damn well know better, demanding you cancel Thanksgiving based on a completely false interpretation of their very own data?

No singing, no dancing, and no laughing for you, or you might face jail time in some states, and yet the scam should’ve been obvious from the beginning:  Unless you were planning a Thanksgiving celebration the size of a Bruce Springsteen concert, the numbers have never supported the idea that having family over is going to cause mass death and destruction.

To borrow a term from the politicians themselves, it’s science:  Super spreader events are super spreaders because of the large numbers of people involved.  The odds of any individual, especially individuals that have been in partial lockdown for months on end, having the virus remain very small – about 1 in 200 in my home state of New Jersey.

Therefore, you need to have a hundred people together for even a 50% chance of the virus being present, and even then it still needs to spread.  Family dinners simply do not have the numbers to be a major source of infection.

The politicians and the media knew this and lied about it, repeatedly, berating us for wanting to spend the holiday with our family and friends.

“It’s those informal, private gatherings where we’re seeing the ignition taking off in terms of the infection rate,” Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont said earlier this month, announcing that private events are restricted to 10 people.

New York Governor, Andrew Cuomo, as usual was a bit blunter.  “Your safe zone, it’s not a safe zone. Your safe zone is dangerous this year…This year, if you love someone, it is smarter and better to stay away.”

Of course, one also has to wonder why the New York Times chose to debunk this myth two days before Thanksgiving, after people had made their plans following weeks of fear mongering and lies?

Are they going to claim they didn’t know this two weeks ago?

Of course not, they knew and they hid it because they, like many of these politicians, want you at home.  They want you scared.  They want you isolated.  They want you to be a sheep in a nation that used to be populated by lions.

No singing, no dancing, no laughing.  Is that country you want to live in?

Because that’s the country that we’re rapidly being conned into.

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