Sunday, January 24, 2021

Assessing Lockdowns

 The COVID-19 pandemic antimaskers like to try to cite scientific sources that support their position.  Of course they ignore all the other data (cherry picking) and even more often don't even bother to read the actual study and check it out.

One such study being spread around is:

OK, so it appears to be peer-reviewed, but I'm having trouble finding the actual peer review of it.  It could be because I simply can't access that part.  I am not sure.  Regardless I'll still check some things myself.  

So let's look at the journal itself.  European Journal of Clinical Investigation.  The impact factor for this journal is under 3 which is rated barely as good.  Above 10 is rated as excellent.  It is ranked 3792.  Not great, but not bad.

Ok, so let's look at the study

That study doesn't even make sense. They contradict themselves continuously with wrong information/conclusions.

For one example they state "Empirical data for the characteristics of fatalities in the later wave before mrNPIs were adopted as compared with the first wave (when mrNPIs had been used) shows that the proportion of COVID-19 deaths that occurred in nursing homes was often higher under mrNPIs rather than under less restrictive measures. This further suggest that restrictive measures do not clearly achieve protection of vulnerable populations." They cite another study as proof.

Well looking at that study ( ) they cite it states: "COVID-19 deaths that were accounted by nursing home residents decreased in the second wave, and the decrease was significant and substantial (relative risk estimates: 0.28 to 0.78) in 7/9 countries...the contribution of COVID-19 deaths in nursing home residents to total fatalities has decreased in most countries in the second wave." 

They also fail in many other areas including taking in consideration things like population densities being a factor (Sweden 25/km2, England 275/km2). Also differences in elderly care are a factor. Home health care is popular in Sweden, which can be a factor compared to large LTC homes which can become problematic once an infection enters the "closes" system. One also should consider the general make-up of households in Sweden where a large proportion are single person dwelling homes which then means transmission within a bubble is reduced and contact tracing/quarantining is more efficient. Of course Sweden compared to Norway and Finland shows an very much higher spread and death rate of COVID-19. 

Overall, if one does not cherry-pick, the scientific consensus is that lockdowns do help slow down the spread. It doesn't mean that they are a good idea (that's a political/economical/subjective analysis), it just means that they are effective in reducing the spread of an infectious disease.

Saturday, January 9, 2021

Why I Dislike Motivational Posters


It's no secret I dislike motivational posters.  I like many motivational speakers even less.   The reason is that many motivational speakers are quite often the get-rich-quick gurus selling scammy stuff (from useless wealth 'programs' to pyramid schemes).  They spout nonsense like "The Secret", and create a culture of narcissism, greed and lack of empathy.  

I saw the above pic posted on a business network social media page.  It annoyed me very much. I have some issues with it.

 It makes the assumption that anyone employed somehow gave up.  This is wrong on so many levels and I sure hope no customer or client sees that you posted this offensive crap.  You are literally crapping on 97% of people.  Not a good business plan.

Are only business owners people who never gave up? There are tonnes of people who are employed who never gave up.  They did a lot of work to reach this particular goal.  Are you saying people who are nurses, accountants, mechanic, tool & die worker, teacher, etc all gave up?  

Are you assuming what their goals even were? Some people are perfectly happy working a job and providing for their family.  That is a perfectly fine goal.  It's not for everyone of course, but to shun those who don't hold the same goals as you is asinine.  Maybe they are retired and just want to be a Walmart greeter for some little extra cash and something to do.  They like helping people.  Again, how can you say they gave up?

Some people are doing the "employed thing" on their way to other things.  It's just a stepping stone.  Maybe they are building up some capital.  Maybe they are learning real world experiences from an already established business.  That is not giving up.  

Maybe you are a business owner and you have employees.  Are you suggesting that all your employees are quitters?  Well that's motivating isn't it? (note: sarcasm).  This would kind of make you the asshole boss.  Are you wanting them to quit and leave you with no employees?

Are you suggesting that monetary riches are the definition of success?  The 3% who own the biggest businesses never gave up so if you aren't in that bracket, you must've given up?  The reality is that there are many different types of success, and is defined on an individual personal basis.

You know what?  Sometimes it's OK to quit something.  Maybe it wasn't the right fit.  Maybe luck wasn't on your side (it's been shown that luck has a significant role in success).  Being realistic can be a great resource.  As Henry Jones Sr. said to his son Indiana in the film "The Last Crusade":  "Let it go".  You can be perfectly happy quitting.  Maybe someone is just pausing.  Again, don't assume just because they are being employed that they have given up. 

There are much better ways to motivate people.  Instead of selling them false hope "programs" and crappy motivational advice, why not actually support them in the choices they make.