Partial information will be the death of us all

And by “partial information,” I mean the people running around like Chicken Little, but screaming, “Reported cases are up!  Reported cases are up!”

Usually along with something that implies Orange Man Bad, or Republican Governor of My State Bad.

Of course reported cases are up.  Thanks to Orange Man, his sidekick Race Bannon, and their crew of intrepid People Who Get Things Done, COVID-19 testing numbers are way, way up from where they were even a month ago.  So naturally the number of reported cases is up.

What’s interesting is that even with states opening back up, they’re not up all that much.  And hospitalizations are not up.  Which implies that the vast, vast majority of cases are either asymptomatic, or so mild that all they require is bed rest and fluids.  Like a bad cold.  Which is also caused by coronaviruses.

Here’s the Indiana total reported cases table from the last time I enumerated them (April 29), updated with today’s ISDH numbers. I’ve also added the death count for May 28, but unfortunately I didn’t note the total positive cases or total tested for that date.  So the values there are starred, as I don’t trust them; they came off of ISDH’s page today, so ISDH has had plenty of time to diddle the numbers.


Statewide COVID-19 Totals from ISDH
Date Total Positive Cases Total Deaths Total Tested
April 4 3,953 116 19,800
April 29 17,182 984 91,550
May 28 *32,943 1,871 *272,052
June 14 40,430 2,251 355,829

And here’s a cute chart to go along with that.

As you can see, the total deaths aren’t sufficient to raise very far off the baseline at all.  Yes, scale is everything, but I can’t show you the relationship between the number of deaths and the number of tests if I use a smaller scale.  OK, OK, fine.

Deaths are still statistical noise compared to the number of tests.  And to the number of reported cases, too.  And frankly, reported cases are statistical noise compared to the number of tests.  See that jump in tests that isn’t accompanied by a similar jump in reported cases?  That really ought to tell you something.

Apparently it tells ISDH that they need to protect their phoney baloney jobs, because they don’t show you a trend chart like this on their website.

In Indiana, there have been only 11 new deaths in the last month (May 13-June 14).  Total deaths counted by ISDH are still only 2,251.

Which is interesting, because when I last wrote about this on May 28, there had been only 1,871 deaths counted by ISDH.  380 does not equal 11.  Or let’s even be charitable, since it’s only been a half month since the last time I wrote, and say that 380 does not equal 5.5.

ISDH, you’re playing with the numbers again, and you’re not explaining what’s behind them.  And you’re still not showing recoveries.  You added a box that says “probable COVID-19 counts” and it contains a number labeled “Total Probable Deaths”, which is 182.  Which also doesn’t equal 380, but it’s your attempt to associate deaths where there was no test but the physician stated COVID-19 was a “contributing cause of death”.  Of course if there was no test, the patient could have died of the flu.  Or a really bad cold.  Or the dropsy.

Still…We could have had 2,251 deaths at my high school the year I graduated, and the whole senior class could still be alive.  And as I’ve been trying to point out constantly, that number of deaths is spread across the entire 7 million people who reside in the state of Indiana.  It’s about one in 3200.  So on average, it’s still around the equivalent of one student in my entire high school the year I was a senior.  We lost something like seven classmates before we graduated.  One more wouldn’t even tip the scale.

Oh, and hospitalizations.  If cases were really way, way up, you’d expect hospitalizations to be way, way, up, too.

Naw.  ISDH page today shows ICU bed usage at only 58.8% — and 46.1% are in use for non-COVID patients.  12.7% are in use for COVID.  But what about ventilators! you ask.  Yeah, what about ’em?  17% are in use, only 4.1% for COVID and 12.9% for other patients.  A whopping 83.1% aren’t even in use.

It’s time to open things up.  Time to open them all the way up.  And time to stop virtue-signaling with masks and social distancing and all that crap.

Because if you can demonstrate in huge crowds, you can go to church, and the store, and the museums, and everything else.

Governor, Mayor, let our people go.  Or we’re just going to go whether you like it or not.

EDIT TO ADD:  I just realized those testing numbers mean that more than 1/20 of the state’s population has been tested.