Shhh. COVID Deaths Drop. Keep It Quiet.

Virginia Department of Health. Click for larger view. Go to the website for the interactive version.

Isn’t this always the way? Just as the Virginia General Assembly arrives in Richmond to save us from COVID-19, Virginia’s number are getting way better.The 7-day average for deaths in the Northern Virginia region tracked by the Virginia Department of Health is zero. Zero. It has recorded zero deaths in August so far.

The statewide 7-day average, which tracks about a week back, has dropped to 5 deaths per day, the lowest average since the pandemic’s initial assault. That’s the chart above. Eastern Virginia’s 7-day death average is now below two per day, and here in the Central (read Capitol) region, is it about one death every other day. That region has had only six deaths recorded so far in August. 

Tomorrow’s report could change all this, but things might hold for a while. The surges that followed Memorial Day and Fourth of July have abated, and now the merchants of fear are focused on claims that a return to school will cause yet another surge. It probably will, in cases, given the mass testing associated with that effort at colleges. But from the beginning, hospitalizations and the death rate have been the key metrics.

The Virginia Department of Health has the statewide test positivity rate at 7.0%, trending down. Johns Hopkins puts it at 6.0%. Below 5% is the target, and while not there, Virginia seems to be getting there. But that number is definitely driven in part by the number of tests being given. Virginia was testing more widely a month ago, as the VDH website shows.

Is this over? No. Is it time to just ignore any effort at mitigation? No. But when the numbers are getting worse, the media sets hair on fire. When they get better, it’s like they don’t even see it.


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75 responses to “Shhh. COVID Deaths Drop. Keep It Quiet.”

  1. UpAgnstTheWall Avatar

    It’s a good thing this is a disease with a binary “better” or “dead” option with no long term consequences for those who get sick:

    And of course hospitalizations have gone up, too, so even half of the metrics you say matter argue against your central premise that people are ignoring the improvements.

    I know conservatives want to be able to just handwave this all away so they can get back to real existential threats like union contracts and tax rates, but no amount of views from 30,000 feet are going to make the harsh reality of this virus flee from people’s minds.

    1. UpAgnstTheWall Avatar

      I also love the idea that suddenly the Liberal Media would be reticent to give a Democratic governor praise for a job well done.

      1. Steve Haner Avatar
        Steve Haner

        The paralyzing fear is the source of power. It must not be allowed to fade. He can’t take a bow yet.

    2. How does one know the long term consequences of a disease that was novel just 5 months ago? I mean, I suppose you could correlate it with the other coronaviruses that exist (ie. common colds) and determine their long term effects.

      I wish those using nom de plumes would have the testicular fortitude to use their names, perhaps than we could point and laugh at that vastly un-educated and laughable opinions on all matters.

      1. Nancy_Naive Avatar

        Nom de guerre. On the other hand, what’s in a name? Would a rose by any other not also wither and die? Even though you claim that is your real name, at first blush, one might easily confuse it as the nick for “The Association of Bordello Operators”.

        The problem with comparing the chronic outcomes of viruses is that they are different, even if minuscule by human standards, e.g., hepatitis a, b, c, d, e. Zika is but one of a family too. While it is a poor parasite that kills its host, leaving them chronically incapacitated is a perfectly viable option.

        Correlation/causally — the good news is that with the rate of infection, there will be no shortage of subjects to study and test for long-term effects. Guess we’ll find out.

        1. So says the poster who hides behind a nom de plume and therefore can make all the asinine statements they like.

          It rather humorous that you (someone who thinks themselves witty) was unable to recognize sarcasm.

          We don’t know the rate of infection and I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that you like most poster use CFR and mortality rate synonymously.

          What we do know is that, it’s a virus it doesn’t care if you board yourself up for years. It’ll still be out there waiting to infect, we do know that viruses tend to mutate to less virulent forms as they wish to survive and require hosts to do that.

          So how about you stop hiding behind a doggy and androgynous screen name and act like an adult?

          1. Nancy_Naive Avatar

            Yes madam

          2. Nancy_Naive Avatar

            “So says the poster who hides behind a nom de plume and therefore can make all the asinine statements they like.” ⊗ QED

      2. Reed Fawell 3rd Avatar
        Reed Fawell 3rd

        The governor of Virginia has absolutely nothing to do with any “success.” Such success, if any today, is to due those unmentionable words “Herd Immunity” that always works with Covids, and always has, and, best we know, always will. Governors and health care people refuse to use the those two words, since they prove how little all the political actions like lock-downs work in the long run, but only make matters worse in long run, stretching out the harm of the Covid, making it harder to stop while tanking your economy, and making the economy harder to restart.

    3. Actually, hospitalizations are declining too. They hit a peak of 1372 on Aug. 6 and are down to 1173 as of yesterday.

      1. Nancy_Naive Avatar

        I suspect he meant to say “down” because of the “too”.

    4. UpAgnstTheWall – I think you miss the point. COVID-19 is dangerous, as are many other things. The primary debate is, (or should be):

      What the proper role of government for a free people in a free society?

      I believe the government has a legitimate interest in making sure hospitals and doctors are not overwhelmed, such that vast numbers of people are unable to receive help. That’s what it was back in march. Remember?

      Then it expanded to the government usurping the rights of individuals to protect us from ourselves in the effort to save lives. You seem to want to take that one step further. Are you suggesting a continuation of government mandates to protect us from potential harm?

      Every adult makes decisions on a daily basis, good or bad, that could bring about death or lasting negative health consequences. The proper role of government is not is not to remove all those choices from us, even if it can claim to do so based on the science.

      Tell me, does HIV has lasting consequences? I think it does. That doesn’t give the government to authority to mandate behavior, or enforce the use of condoms in the public interest.

      Once the danger of overwhelming hospitals has past, the role of government should revert back to developing treatments and vaccines, and providing information to the public so that we can make our own decisions about how we conduct our lives.

      Biden thinks the federal government should impose a national mandate to wear masks. Do you agree? If so, where does the federal government get that power?

      If I have misrepresented the intent of your post, you are welcome to correct me. I would be interested in reading your views, as you seem to have a different take on this than I do.

      1. Top-GUN Avatar

        AMEN Nathan…

  2. Nancy_Naive Avatar

    Treatment has greatly improved. Watching an interview on CNN, a doctor said they have learned to deal better with COV2 patients.

    Paraphrasing him, “We have remdesivir for one, and we are not as quick to intubate. We monitor O2 saturation and we allow it to drop lower than XX% where we used to mandate intubation.”

    Good. Good. They are learning better metrics.

    “In addition, when we intubate, we now put the patient on his stomach because it’s easier to breathe.”

    Wait! What?! You mean they are just NOW learning that?? Every Boy Scout KNOWS that! It’s in the handbook for resuscitating drowning victims.

    “Remember that by laying the patient face downward fluids in the air passages will run or be forced out and the tongue will drop forward, and require no holding, always an awkward task.” (1911 BSA Handbook pp 286)

    Geez, stone knives and bear skins.

    1. Steve Haner Avatar
      Steve Haner

      One day it will be clear HCQ works, too.

      Gottlieb this morning on CNBC was using an “infection fatality rate” of 0.8%, 8 deaths per 1,000, and said he expects it to further improve. No question they were overusing ventilators at first.

      1. Nancy_Naive Avatar

        HCQ? I tell you what. I’ll stop the repeating fear porn if you stop believing the fairy tales from the Orange Grove.

  3. LarrytheG Avatar

    What “fear porn” is keep professional and collegiate sports from playing?

    How come schools and colleges are closing back down again? Media?

    1. Steve Haner Avatar
      Steve Haner

      Several professional sports ARE playing, Larry. Turn on your TV.

      1. LarrytheG Avatar

        SOME are (like golf, but WITHOUT spectators) and doing so with heavy testing of the players.. but the majority are not and in no small part because they HAVE seen infections and outbreaks.

        The fact that we do not have spectators speaks volumes about the “fear” and it’s not fear that is being “promoted”.. millions of dollars are being lost and to date, have not seen a single sports team advocate for spectators.

        Yes, the “bubble” where players essentially isolate from everyone else. That’s a solution? geeze

  4. S. E. Warwick Avatar
    S. E. Warwick

    The R nought number( )for Virginia is in the green which allegedly indicates that the virus is not spreading. If the downward trend continues, the latest numbers are from weekend reporting, this number too will decline.

    1. Steve Haner Avatar
      Steve Haner

      Thanks for that. That also blows up the meme that it is “red states” with the problems. Uh, not true.

      1. You are correct about “red states.” How many bright red states do you see in the top 10 of coronavirus high death rates? Looks pretty blue to me.

        How bout that “science”?

  5. So, Steve, how much credit do we give Northam?

    My thought is that he has bungled a lot of things, but his innate sense of caution has stopped him from making truly horrendous mistakes.

    1. Steve Haner Avatar
      Steve Haner

      I’ve said for a while he has steered a middle course. He deserves some credit. He hasn’t been leading the charge to close schools, for example. The nursing homes have been hotbeds, but not our prisons.

      1. djrippert Avatar

        COVID19 deaths per 100,000 population: Virginia, #28 out of 50 states. Grade – C.

        1. LarrytheG Avatar

          Yeah, but the vociferous in Virginia were claiming he was a blackface “Wise KING” dictator issuing “Draconian” rules and taking away people’s rights and letting people die in nursing homes and worse!

          You don’t remember all that?

          1. djrippert Avatar

            Cases per 100,000 … Virginia #24 out of 50 states. Grade – C.

            The economic damage of Il Duce’s shutdown is still to be determined. However, in a state where federal outlays exceed federal taxes paid by over $10,000 per person per year (biggest surplus in the nation) …. Daddy Trump’s safety net will be there to bail out The Imperial Clown Show in Richmond, no matter how poor their decision making.

            Otto von Bismark once said, “God has a special providence for fools, drunkards, and the United States of America.” Maybe so. But George Washington had a special providence for The Commonwealth of Virginia when he ran an elaborate ruse to get the nation’s capital where it sits today. Without that failsafe Virginia today would be several notches below Mississippi on the misery index.

    2. Dick Hall-Sizemore Avatar
      Dick Hall-Sizemore

      I think Northam deserves more credit than he has been given. His caution kept the state from opening up too soon and too fast. The nursing homes being hot beds were not his fault; the state does not control or operate them. I have long thought it curious that the private companies that operate these facilities did not get faulted more by participants on this blog. That being said, Northam should not have been so reluctant to release information about them, especially by saying the law prohibited such releases and then later releasing it under pressure. I also think he waited a little too long to allow restaurants to open with proper distancing between tables.

  6. LarrytheG Avatar

    Every store I go into says to wear a mask. And I’m seeing almost everyone doing it despite all the fire and fury about including here in BR.

    I’m pretty sure “blackface” had something to do with that… and he took a lot of heat over it – including right here in BR.

    1. LarrytheG – How many of the people wearing masks have it under their nose? I see that all the time. It’s a façade.

      There may be science to support N95 masks by medical workers, but it will be years before we have definitive scientific studies showing the effectiveness (or lack thereof) of public mask mandates.

      The efficacy of mask mandates for the general public are a hypothesis, not settled science. The two should not be confused.

      1. LarrytheG Avatar

        Yep, noticed it also. Don’t know if it’s lazy or micro defiance.. or what.

        The science – as we know it now – argues for masks.

        they are considered the difference between countries that opened up and kept their virus under control and countries that have not.

        To this day – no one can claim that if you smoke cigarettes that you absolutely will get cancer. That science is also “not settled” but most people now believe that smoking is risky business and not a smart thing to do.

        Cigarettes were an example of something that was said to not be “proven” and for years, people doubted the science because it never did “prove conclusively”.

        The last battle for cigarettes was fought over “second hand” smoke where smokers claimed there was no proof and others were convinced it was too risky and in the end, the “right” to smoke in restaurants and on places – got taken away.

        My bet is that the folks who wanted to smoke in restaurants are kindred souls to the mask issue. It’s about their “rights”.

        But the bottom line is that you really don’t have unfettered rights if they can adversely impact others. Who decides what does or does not? The government.

        I don’t know your age but the second hand smoke issue played out in similar ways… Restaurants first tried to have separate smoking areas, but they could not keep the smoke completely out of the non-smoking areas. Similarly, played out in other places and planes.

  7. Top-GUN Avatar

    Well the big question is how long does the lockdown nonsense go on as we Ruin our economy….
    Are we going to wait until their is a vaccine, , which might be Never!!!!
    And BTW,,, for all you technocratic number crunchers,,, how many deaths per day is OK,,, we are obviously willing to accept a certain number from car crashes, smoking, being fat (and diseases associated with obesity such as diabetes), etc. ,, so just what is the correct number????

    1. Nancy_Naive Avatar

      How much of a contribution to the economy do the dead make? OTOH, at 1/6 of the economy, the sick make a HUGE contribution.

    2. LarrytheG Avatar

      It is said that half the small businesses may be lost permanently. One might wonder if they were not economically viable to start with if there is not a sustained need for what they sell.

      The purpose of masks and social distancing is to allow more of the economy to open-up but we have some who insist on opening up without masks…

      Do we believe the science?

      1. Nancy_Naive Avatar

        Restaurants come and go, and really, just how many craft beers is too few?

        Skilled workers, as always, will survive.

      2. I’ve worked in several small businesses and am familiar with many others. I’ve yet to see a business plan that allows for the potential that the government will outlaw doing business. That’s what they have done to many.

        Even many of the most successful businesses on planet earth have gone through difficult times and come close to going under. Are you at all familiar with the history of Apple?

        I most certainly do believe the science, but 90% of what people spout under than banner has only a tenuous relationship to science. And I’m being very generous.

        1. LarrytheG Avatar

          Nathan – do you think government is what is hurting professional and collegiate sports?

          1. Well, since you asked.

            I’m not following sports closely, but from what little I have read it appears that they are self regulating to a large degree. I’m okay with guidelines and facts from the government.

            I also think that if I were a professional athlete or in collegiate sports and looking to go pro, I would be extremely cautious about taking any risks that might impact my ability to perform at the very highest level. If there are lasting impacts, they need not be debilitating to ruin a career in sports. Long term respiratory issues or heart issues would scare me.

    3. Dick Hall-Sizemore Avatar
      Dick Hall-Sizemore

      What lockdown? Any store and restaurant I would want to patronize is open. I have been to the dentist and doctor for checkups; I have gotten a haircut. I am preparing to go to Sandbridge for a week’s vacation with my grandkids. The only things prohibited are open bar areas in restaurants (which I don’t use) and congregate events such as concerts (which I do miss). True, restaurants cannot cram people in with tables so close that you could probably eat off the plate from a person on the adjoining table, but I always despised that and avoided those types of restaurants anyway. I am preparing to take a virtual course from J. Sargeant Reynolds CC. I would have preferred in-class instruction, but, under the circumstances, I would not have attended such a class, so I appreciate the opportunity to take it virtually. I will miss going to University of Richmond basketball games later this fall and winter, but even if they go on, I will choose not to go. In summary, we (the government) are not ruining the economy; the virus is doing that.

      1. Steve Haner Avatar
        Steve Haner

        I would say fear of the virus….

        1. Dick Hall-Sizemore Avatar
          Dick Hall-Sizemore

          And from what I read and have been told by people whose relatives have contracted the virus, that fear is justified. You yourself have said that you still are not eating in restaurants, only on patios.

          1. LarrytheG Avatar

            Indeed, Steve seems to be somewhat conflicted … between how he personally behaves and his opinion !

            We do not have professional and college sports shut down over fear mongering… it’s clearly affected by infections and outbreaks.

            The same thing is now happening with Schools and Colleges.

            Are we supposed to not report this because doing so causes “fear” ?

        2. Nancy_Naive Avatar

          “Not only is adrenaline released when you feel fear but other chemicals as well, such as dopamine, endorphins, oxytocin and serotonin. There’s a good reason for that: serotonin, in particular, helps your brain to work more efficiently. Fear is energy.”

          It, not incoincidentally, also keeps you from doing incredibly stupid things because your brain is working — for some, more efficiently; for others, at all.

        3. Fear of the virus is definitely impacting business. Some of it is rational, but much is not. All risks must be evaluated, and our reaction to them proportional to the danger.

          After a high profile airplane crash with a high fatality rate, people often drive rather than fly. I’m not sure they are evaluating risks appropriately, but that’s their right. Freedom is often the right to make the wrong decision.

          I think right now, some business in major cities are hurt much more by the impact of the riots than by the Coronavirus. There I would blame government inaction. One of the primary responsibilities of government is to protect lives AND property.

      2. LarrytheG Avatar

        re: ” In summary, we (the government) are not ruining the economy; the virus is doing that.”

        I too have gotten groceries, had doctors and dental appointments, got my car serviced, brought paint and hardware, got take-out food, go daily to the Post Office, visit the drug strore, etc, always wearing a mask and always seeing a sign on the door saying to wear a mask.

        But , no shortage of folks who continue to insist the virus is a “made up” thing and not wearing a mask is their “right” ……….

      3. Top-GUN Avatar

        Dick HS asks what lockdown…
        Well I guess life is good for him…
        But unemployment is still up, tax revenue is down, I’ve noted car lots are not filled with new vehicles, some repair parts are on back order, half full restaurants don’t bring in as much revenue, ..
        Plus his is a narrow view, their are some states that are far more draconian than VA…
        And of course no answer to that question, how many deaths per day are acceptable??

  8. LarrytheG Avatar

    In terms of businesses that ARE open AND are going broke and STILl are experiencing infection, hospitalizations and death:

    ” COVID-19 had led to increased costs and financial hardship among nursing homes across the nation, according to a survey of 463 nursing home operators conducted earlier this week by the American Health Care Association / National Center for Assisted Living.

    One of the survey’s most telling takeaways is that more than half of nursing homes (55%) currently are operating at a loss, with nearly 90% at a razor-thin margin, if not a loss. As a result, 72% of nursing homes said they won’t be able to sustain operations another year at the current pace, with approximately 40% saying they won’t last another six months.

    Much of this financial strain has been driven largely by the increase in costs responding to COVID-19, including personal protective equipment, additional staffing, “hero pay” and testing. Another continued concern, however, has been underfunding from Medicaid, which covers less than 80% of actual caregiving costs, AHCA/NCAL reported.”

  9. LarrytheG Avatar

    Some folks do not like being told what to do, especially if it is the govt or some other “official” or these days, a scientist citing science. Who might be at risk is a totally separate thing!

    The idea that traffic signals and speed limits are there to PROTECT others from those who are more than willing to take risks – does not apparently “compute”.

    The anti-mask and anti-vaxx folks are side by side with speeders and red-light runners. It’s their “right”?

    1. Steve Haner Avatar
      Steve Haner

      You’re grasping and sputtering again. I used to spend time in courtrooms and I can’t recall any red light runner or speeder claiming they had a right to break those laws. Yet another cheap rhetorical fallacy, Larry. A sign you should stop….:)

      1. LarrytheG Avatar

        no way – what would happen without traffic signals and speed limits and we let everyone decide their own risk?

    2. Top-GUN Avatar

      First Larry, you have to tell us how many deaths per day are acceptable, then we can decide where to put traffic signs, set speed limits and decide whether people should wear masks and what the proper distance is for social distancing… and BTW, since we don’t have a mask ” standard” is that paper towel on your face any good…
      Of course the wearing of masks may be pretty much useless, for every scientist, expert, report you come up with I can find one that says they are useless…
      This is not settled science.. and to repeat, how long do we wait for a vaccine, how long do we stay in lockdown… and to add to a previous post to Dick Sizemore, you’re life may be normal but tell that to a parent with school children…

      1. LarrytheG Avatar

        @topgun – no I don’t – no more than I have to say how many kids dying at the hands of their parents are acceptable. It’s a wacko question!

        The stop lights, speed limits, and other things very much control behaviors of those who consider risk to be their right and would run smack over others if they could.

        Rational adult-level folks accept traffic signals and stop signs and other “affronts” to their rights like masks. Others, less mature, act out in idiotic ways and uses excuses like “my rights” and really don’t give a rats behind if their actions affect others.

        1. I defy you to name one person who has posted a comment on this blog stating that his/her rights make him/her exempt from traffic laws.

          If you can’t do it, then shut up about it.

          1. LarrytheG Avatar

            I think you’re missing my point. We’ve had discussions about the “right” to not wear a mask and that it’s up to each individual to decide risk to themselves – as if it’s not also about risk to others.

            And I point out that traffic laws are also about “rights” and risk and the reason they exist is to protect everyone from different individual ideas of what some consider to be their “right” to engage in risk but not about impacts to others.

            The same thing occurs with vaccinations for infectious diseases. When you decide that you’ll “risk it”, it’s not just about you.

            Should govt force you to not take risks as a
            “right” – if it effects others?

            I say it does and most folks want those controls.

          2. No. I did not miss your point. You did not have one. At least not a valid one. You were comparing apples to manhole covers.

            However, you did say that there are people out here who consider it their right to violate traffic laws. I asked you to name one. You cannot. It’s okay. I didn’t think you could anyway.

          3. LarrytheG Avatar

            I think what I said is that there are folks who see “rights” and “risks” and there are some similarities between masks and traffic laws – designed to protect others not just about you.

        2. LarrytheG – Sorry, but the traffic thing doesn’t work. The government owns and maintains the highways. They have every right to regulate safety issues there.

          I also have no problem with the owner of a store telling me to wear a mask if I wish to enter. I respect his/her property, and his/her right to create the environment best suited to doing business.

          The government has no business dictating how to conduct worship in churches, synagogues or mosques, however. That’s just one example of what’s happening by these advocates government “leadership” and of course “science.”

          Justice Gorsuch said it well:

          “This is a simple case. Under the Governor’s edict, a 10-
          screen “multiplex” may host 500 moviegoers at any time. A
          casino, too, may cater to hundreds at once, with perhaps six
          people huddled at each craps table here and a similar number gathered around every roulette wheel there. Large
          numbers and close quarters are fine in such places. But
          churches, synagogues, and mosques are banned from admitting more than 50 worshippers—no matter how large
          the building, how distant the individuals, how many wear
          face masks, no matter the precautions at all. In Nevada, it
          seems, it is better to be in entertainment than religion. ..”

          1. LarrytheG Avatar

            Nathan – is it illegal to take a dangerous chemical into a store?

            how about a gun on an airplane?

            how about a private company producing a car without seat belts?

            Can you build an outhouse in your back yard ?

            Can you put a dam on your property?

            Can you build a structure that does not meet code?

            I think I could name hundreds of things that you cannot do on neither public or private property because it’s considered a danger to others…

            The government has the power and the authorities to set rules for issues that affect public health.

          2. You are good at asking questions but seldom answer any that might be difficult.

            There are several issues in that mass of questions that must be distinguished. State and local governments have more power than the federal government with regard to regulating some things. See the 10th amendment.

            If he were to become President, Biden would have no authority to institute a federal mask mandate for example. You never answered my question about that.

            States and local governments have more authority to regulate building codes, health codes, etc. When it comes to state and local governments, my criticism isn’t always about whether they “can” do something. Often it’s about whether they “should.”

            I try to be rational and consistent in my views. That may not be apparent, partially because I’m writing short comments rather than a thesis.

            I do not detect a consistency in your comments. I realize you too are just commenting, but you have not answered my question which gets to the heart of many of your comments. Does the government have the right, and would you support a mandate to require condoms between consenting adults?

            This would not only satisfy the arguments you have made for masks, it would do so to a much larger degree. How many lives could potentially be saved? It would be hard to calculate, but probably many more than the wearing of masks would.

            Here’s just one example. I could list many more. Did you know that “gonorrhea is developing resistance to every drug created to fight it”?


            You have also said that masks protect others, in addition to the person wearing them. Is that not also true of condoms?

            Heart disease kills over 600,000 people per year. Ever been to a Golden Corral buffet and watched what people eat. Should we regulate what people put on the plate in restaurants? Where does this stop?

            Lastly, I’m not anti mask per say. I’m anti government mandated masks. The federal government doesn’t have the authority to do this accept in certain situations like onboard airlines. The state and local government may have the authority in more areas, but I don’t believe it is right for them to do so.

            I support health information and guidelines wherever possible. Mandates should be used only under the most extreme circumstances.

          3. LarrytheG Avatar

            aren’t these “new” questions you’re asking?

            let’s make this simple.

            I look at things from a pragmatic point of view and I cite things that do exists as examples of rules and laws that the govt – at all levels do have.

            Osha tells you what kind of ladder you can build and sell.

            The EPA tells you want kind of insect killer you can use.

            ” If he were to become President, Biden would have no authority to institute a federal mask mandate for example. You never answered my question about that.”

            You mean he could not just summarily issue an EO like you know who or get the CDC or FDA to issue such a rule?

            re: ” Does the government have the right, and would you support a mandate to require condoms between consenting adults?”

            “consenting” ? heckfire the govt can deny you to be a consenting adult, no?

            But you’re missing the point. Can the govt prevent you from engaging in an activity that can harm others. Yes. Do they always? No.

            re: ” Heart disease kills over 600,000 people per year. Ever been to a Golden Corral buffet and watched what people eat. Should we regulate what people put on the plate in restaurants? Where does this stop?”

            it stops when you do something that can hurt others… yes.

            we do not prevent you from hurting yourself but we go to great lengths to tell you about things that can harm you from cigarettes, to too much food, to driving without a seat belt to screwing with a cell phone while you drive – and yes… the last two are laws… that you can be cited for.

            lastly – if you go into a restaurant and light up a cigarette even though you can truthfully say that one cigarette won’t give anyone else cancer – can the govt still stop you?

            You bet your bippy they can – and do… and the vast
            majority of us are just fine with it – and my bet is that most of us who feel that way about cigarettes feel that way about masks.

            Do you support the “right” for someone to smoke in a public place even though it won’t give others cancer and as far as I know there is no definitive science as to harm on a per smoke incident, right?

            This is how the CDC characterizes it:

            ” There is no risk-free level of secondhand smoke, and even brief exposure can cause immediate harm.1 Studies have shown that smokefree laws that prohibit smoking in public places like bars and restaurants help improve the health of workers and the general population.1-17 Some of these improvements in health outcomes, such as reductions in hospital admissions for heart attacks, begin to be realized shortly after the laws take effect.”


          4. LarrytheG – I too consider myself pragmatic, but I don’t think it pragmatic to scrap the Constitution or to make judgements about matters of public policy without having a set of values and principles to guide my approach.

            For example, you don’t seem to understand the concept of Federalism which is critical to how our government was designed to work. The framers of the Constitution created system of government where power is distributed rather than concentrated. We have strayed from that original design over the years, but there is value in retaining what remains. In my view, consideration must be given to the long term implications of one day having all power concentrated in the Federal government.

            Some Executive Orders are legal, others would not be. Contrary to what you hear from most of the talking heads on cable, President Trump has not greatly expanded power of his office. You can thank President Obama for that. Obama’s “pen and phone” are still there in the Whitehouse. Once precedent has been established, it’s hard to roll back that power.

            The mere fact that an individual’s bad decision can negatively effect others, is not by itself sufficient reason to give government the power to take those decisions away from citizens.

            I gave an example with condoms to illustrate the tension, but your response was unintelligible.

            Let me try again. The bad decision of parents can do a great deal of harm to others, but I don’t want the government intruding on the rights of parents except in extreme circumstances. A government that makes every decision for its citizens to preclude harm to others is not a government I care to live under. That’s fascism.

            You wrote, “I say it does and most folks want those controls.”

            It matters not that the people may say they want it. Populism can lead to fascism. I reject both.

            I believe in Constitutionalism, not populism. The framers of the Constitution recognized the dangers of unbridled populism and wisely built in safeguards to protect us.

        3. LarrytheG Avatar

          It’s actually a fairly simple concept and it’s Constitutional and that is that your rights end where they impact others rights/cause harm to others. That’s true for all of us.

          We have laws and regulations out the wazoo that basically say that.

          The problem we have is folks get up on their high horses about their own “rights” and don’t seem to understand that all such rights end when they start to affect others.

          For instance, you do have Freedom of Speech – but you do not have the “right” to exercise it anywhere you want – not even on public property. You get 3 minutes at the BOS meeting when it meets – and that’s it. Ignore that and out you go.

          Ditto for the 2nd amendment. You can’t take that gun into a courtroom or on an airplane.

          1. LarrytheG – You are probably a great person, but you appear to have almost no understanding whatsoever of the U.S. Constitution. Under the Constitution, only certain limited powers were given to the federal government. Any power not explicitly giving to the federal government, was reserved for the states or the people.

            During ratification, the states were concerned that future generations may not understand this, and wanted that stated explicitly. That concern, as well as others, resulted in the Bill of Rights, which includes this:

            AMENDMENT X

            “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

            “We have laws and regulations out the wazoo that basically say that.”

            “Laws and regulations out the wazoo” is not a recognized principle of Constitutional jurisprudence.

          2. LarrytheG Avatar

            See the pragmatic part of this is to recognize the reality of all these laws that we DO have that have been determined to be Constitutional.

            It’s way more than the perceived literal words of the Constitution. It’s more than 200 years of court interpretation that actually defines our laws – that actually have been determined to be “Constitutional”.

            Looking solely at the Constitution without also looking at laws made and Courts rulings won’t give you a pragmatic perspective.

            Fundamental to the Constitution is the concept that we all have rights and by definition your rights end where mine begin and that’s what many, many laws essentially codify.

            You can’t pollute property you do not own – You won’t find that in literal words in the Constitution.

            Ditto for smoking in restaurants or planes.

            Ditto for traffic signals and not being to take your gun on a plane.

            These are realities – not theory. They are that way right now and they are “Constitutional”.

  10. djrippert Avatar

    Il Duce Northam under fire from within his own party ….

    Meanwhile, as liberals in Virginia hop up and down about the lack of federal coordination regarding COVID19 they are strangely silent about Il Duce’s unwillingness to intervene in the school reopening issue. Kind of odd given that Northam found no issue with unilaterally closing schools last Spring. Yet he is flummoxed as to whether they should reopen this Fall.

    Where are the state approved standards to follow? Where are the plans? What about the “science”? What about “equity”? It’s for “the children”, “the children”, “the children” …. Nothing but silence from Northam.

    1. Chap Peterson is an interesting breed of democrat. There are not many like him anymore.

  11. Top-GUN Avatar

    Larry the G says,, “The government has the power and the authorities to set rules for issues that affect public health.”
    OK Larry boy explain this….
    Me not wearing a seat belt only affects me, just like being fat only affects me…. but for some reason I’m required to wear a seat belt but I’m not required to go on a diet…

    On the question of how many Covid deaths per day is acceptable I was told I was wacky,,, really,,, it’s a fair question. Highway speed limits are ultimately set based on an allowable number of highway deaths per year. When the number gets too high the speed limit is reduced and or other changes made.. And it’s quite obvious that lockdown rules change depending upon death rate,,, so I would like to know what that death rate number is,,, and we should have a conversation about that number,,, some may want zero, but the more pragmatic will admit some number is acceptable and it involves trade offs, like unemployment, and the ruination of our economy…

    1. LarrytheG Avatar

      Top Gun – you got a point on the seat belt!

      On how many deaths – no – it’s like how much did you beat your wife type of question.

      There is no “acceptable” number for any of it.

      It’s really a false choice. It’s like asking what is acceptable for deaths in a non-attainment area and the “trade-off_ of imposing pollution restrictions.

      And it’s not a binary choice. There is no “ruination” of the economy anymore here than any other country that also is affected by the virus.

      I think you’re confusing virus-caused impacts to the economy with govt attempts to mitigate virus-caused impacts to the economy.

      For instance, why are professional sports teams worried about the virus without on their own without govt involvement? Why are the teams spending all that time and money on testing and then shutting down when some of them get infected? Not the govt forcing that, right?

      Or Higher Ed – opening up then getting infections and closing back down. No govt is telling them to do that – right?

      Yes – the govt is telling gyms and bars and churches (odd combination!) – even RED state govt is doing it – right?

      I think there is also confusion about the number of deaths. If we don’t do anything and the contagion runs wild – we have a lot more deaths, right?

      From all accounts a LOT more deaths so the response is to take actions to keep the contagion from running unfettered.

      And it’s not just Dems GOvernors, it’s GOP governors and it’s the leaders of countries around the globe. RIght?

      So you apparently think all these country leaders are mistaken in their actions and you know what is better?

      I dunno guy.

  12. I started the thread taking about Biden’s federal mask mandate idea. The questionable authority for that is not just my opinion. Please read:

    “The constitutionality of federal mask mandates”,the%20president%20over%20foreign%20affairs.&text=There%20is%20nothing%2C%20however%2C%20that,for%20the%20president%20to%20enforce.

    1. LarrytheG Avatar

      Nathan – do you think this is an objective article or more of an opinion?

      ” James Phillips is an assistant professor of law at Chapman University’s Fowler School of Law. John Yoo is the Emanuel S. Heller Professor of Law at the UC Berkeley School of Law. John Yoo is Emanuel S. Heller Professor of Law at the University of California at Berkeley, a visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, and a visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. He is the author of Defender-in-Chief: Donald Trump’s Fight for Presidential Power, to be published on July 28.”

      See, when I see folks are affiliated with the AEI and Hoover, I’m thinking they have a particular viewpoint that may not be a mainstream viewpoint and I’d certainly like to see if the other side agrees…

      1. LarrytheG – Do you honestly think a Biden supporter is likely to write a paper explaining in detail how boneheaded Biden’s national mask mandate idea is, particularly before the election in November?

        If Biden is elected and he actually follows through, (which I doubt) we may see how the courts rule.

        Then there’s this problem.

        “Are Anti-Mask Masks Legal?”

        And this one:

        “Does Mandatory Mask Enforcement Violate The American Disability Act?”

        1. LarrytheG Avatar

          would you accept views from scientists that are not Biden supporters?

          See,you’re clearly being partisan here, right?

          You’ve already made up your mind and now just search for things that support your view.


          I have doubts that the POTUS can do this ban but I have no doubts that the current occupant believes he has that power on a wide variety of things… so it does depend on who is POTUS.

          I think that the POTUS has significant power if there is an emergency. But that in and of itself is being disputed… even in the states…

  13. […] mid-August I noted the daily deaths had dropped to five per day or so.  Today’s bar chart shows the seven-day […]

  14. […] mid-August I noted the daily deaths had dropped to five per day or so. Today’s bar chart shows the seven-day […]

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